The Paris Agreement is an international treaty that was adopted in 2015 at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris. The goal of the agreement is to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit it even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The agreement is a significant milestone in the fight against climate change and has been ratified by 189 countries, including the United Kingdom (UK).
The UK played a key role in the negotiations leading up to the Paris Agreement. As a developed country with one of the largest economies in the world, the UK has a responsibility to lead the fight against climate change. The UK was also the first country in the world to introduce a legally binding framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the Climate Change Act of 2008. This act sets a target for the UK to reduce its emissions by at least 80% by 2050, compared to 1990 levels.
In the lead up to the Paris Agreement, the UK government committed to reducing its emissions by 40% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. The UK also pledged £5.8 billion to help developing countries transition to a low-carbon economy. This commitment, known as the International Climate Fund, supports projects such as renewable energy, sustainable forestry, and climate resilience.
Since the adoption of the Paris Agreement, the UK has continued to play a leading role in the international effort to combat climate change. In 2019, the UK became the first major economy in the world to commit to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, and in 2021, it hosted the virtual Climate Ambition Summit, which brought together governments, businesses, and civil society to discuss ways to accelerate action on climate change.
The UK’s commitment to the Paris Agreement and its leadership on climate action highlights the importance of international cooperation in the fight against climate change. The Paris Agreement provides a framework for countries to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a low-carbon economy. By working together, we can ensure a more sustainable future for our planet and future generations.