The historic Paris agreement on climate change was on Saturday adopted without any objection by the 196 parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) during the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) hosted by France.
The Paris agreement runs to 31 pages with 29 articles, including objective, mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, finance, technology development and transfer, capacity building, and transparency of action and support, Xinhua news agency reported.
On the basis of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, the Paris agreement calls for aiming to hold global average temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and strives for limiting the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Taking into account of the needs and priorities of developing countries, the agreement also eyes $100 billion a year by developed countries for developing countries from 2020.
The 21st session of the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC kicked off on 30 November, 2015.
The pact is the first to commit all countries to cut carbon emissions, but it is partly legally binding and partly voluntary.
Calling the pact ‘ambitious, the White House said, “The Paris Agreement is also the culmination of a broader effort by nations, businesses, cities, and citizens to reorient the global economy to a path of low-carbon growth – progress that will accelerate as a result of the Agreement’s provisions on mitigation ambition, transparency, and climate finance.”
However, the celebratory mood has not been shared among all observers.
BBC News quoted Nick Dearden, director of campaign group Global Justice Now, as saying, “It’s outrageous that the deal that’s on the table is being spun as a success when it undermines the rights of the world’s most vulnerable communities and has almost nothing binding to ensure a safe and liveable climate for future generations.”
Some aspects of the agreement will be legally binding, such as submitting an emissions reduction target and the regular review of that goal.