The Paris Climate Agreement, also known as the Paris Agreement, is a landmark international treaty that aims to limit global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It was signed in 2015 by 196 countries and entered into force in 2016. But how did the Paris Climate Agreement come about?

The Paris Agreement was the culmination of years of negotiations and efforts to address the growing threat of climate change. It builds upon previous international agreements such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol.

One of the key factors that led to the Paris Agreement was the growing scientific consensus on the impacts of climate change. A series of reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in the early 2000s highlighted the risks and consequences of global warming, including sea level rise, extreme weather events, and biodiversity loss. These reports spurred action and created a sense of urgency among policymakers, scientists, and the public.

In 2009, the UNFCCC held the Copenhagen climate summit, which aimed to create a new global climate agreement to replace the expiring Kyoto Protocol. However, the summit ended in disappointment as countries were unable to reach a consensus on emissions reduction targets and funding for developing countries.

Despite the setback in Copenhagen, the momentum for climate action continued to grow. In 2011, the UNFCCC launched the Durban Platform, which established a roadmap for negotiations towards a new climate agreement. This was followed by a series of conferences and meetings, including the Lima Climate Conference in 2014, which set the stage for the Paris Agreement.

The Paris Agreement was finalized at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) of the UNFCCC, held in Paris in December 2015. The negotiations were guided by the principles of equity, common but differentiated responsibilities, and the need to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The Paris Agreement is a historic achievement in global cooperation and a testament to the power of collective action. It sets a clear goal for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and provides a framework for countries to work together towards a sustainable future. While there is still much work to be done to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, it represents a significant step towards a more sustainable world.