The earth is getting warmer. In 2015, the international community concluded the Paris Climate Agreement in an effort to keep climate change at a level that is tolerable for humanity. This was a groundbreaking step, since for the first time it made all countries globally responsible for climate protection.
What was agreed in the Paris Climate Agreement?
The Paris Climate Agreement aims to keep the global average rise in temperature to well below 2°C – preferably to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. To achieve this, all countries were given a clear mandate at the time to set their own climate action targets and to take all necessary measures to implement them. These targets were defined in Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
What are Nationally Determined Contributions?
Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) lie at the core of the Paris Agreement. The idea is that targets for emissions reduction achieve greater acceptance if they are set down as voluntary commitments. Since 2020, countries have been required to submit their plans every five years and to make them increasingly ambitious over time.
Where do we stand in relation to NDCs?
Climate change is advancing. So far, the combined contributions of all countries have proved insufficient to limit warming to below two degrees. According to the measures currently envisaged, the world would end up 2.8 degrees warmer – well above the margin set down in the Paris Climate Agreement.