The Paris Agreement, signed in 2015, was a landmark global initiative aimed at addressing climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement committed countries to keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with an aspirational goal of limiting it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. As the world approaches the sixth anniversary of the Paris Agreement, it`s worth examining the progress made so far.
One of the most significant developments since the Paris Agreement has been the growth of renewable energy sources. In the years following the agreement, the cost of solar and wind power has decreased dramatically, making them more competitive with traditional fossil fuels. As a result, more and more countries have been able to transition to renewable energy, reducing their reliance on carbon-intensive sources of energy.
Another area of progress has been the phasing out of coal. In the years since the Paris Agreement, more than 30 countries have committed to phasing out coal entirely, including major emitters like China, the United States, and Germany. While progress has been slower in some regions, the shift away from coal is a positive step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition to these developments, there have been other significant milestones since the Paris Agreement was signed. For example, in 2019, the European Union announced its goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050, while China pledged to peak its carbon emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. These commitments, if met, would go a long way towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Of course, there is still much work to be done. Despite the progress made in renewable energy and phasing out coal, global emissions continue to rise. As of 2020, emissions were projected to be 4-7% lower than 2019 levels due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this reduction is likely to be temporary.
Moreover, many countries have yet to fully implement the commitments they made under the Paris Agreement. Some have even backtracked on their pledges, such as the United States, which formally withdrew from the agreement under the Trump administration. The recent election of Joe Biden as President of the United States has raised hopes that the country will rejoin the agreement and take meaningful action on climate change.
Overall, progress since the Paris Agreement has been mixed. While there have been positive developments in renewable energy and phasing out coal, global emissions continue to rise, and many countries have yet to fully implement their commitments. Nevertheless, the Paris Agreement remains a critical framework for addressing climate change, and the global community must continue to work together to achieve its goals.