How Does International Agreements Mitigate Climate Change

Paris Agreement, 2015. The most important global agreement to date, the Paris Agreement, obliges all countries to make commitments to reduce emissions. Governments set targets known as national contributions, with a view to preventing the average global temperature from rising by 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to strive to keep it below 1.5 degrees Celsius. It also aims to achieve zero net emissions globally, where the amount of greenhouse gases emitted is equivalent to the amount removed from the atmosphere in the second half of the century. (This is also called climate neutral or carbon neutral.) The UNFCCC reports the outcome of the Intergovernmental Negotiation Committee`s negotiations for a framework agreement on climate change. As a framework agreement, the agreement sets out broad principles and commitments that must constitute the adoption of national climate change mitigation programmes; Developing coping strategies and promote sustainable management and conservation of greenhouse gases (e.g. B forests). The UNFCCC came into force in March 1994. Since then, a UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP) has met annually to assess progress towards its goal and negotiate new measures to improve knowledge of the threat of climate change. In accordance with UnFCCC Article 6, the parties agreed to promote measures to develop and implement “climate change education and awareness programmes and its effects.” They also agreed to promote “public access to information on climate change and its effects.” However, Article 6 measures have been slow and in 2012 the nearly 200 nations parties to the UNFCCC agreed to implement the Doha work programme on Article 6.

Under this eight-year program, nations must meet their obligations under Article 6. Training is one of the activities covered by Article 6 and three African countries, Benin, Malawi and Uganda, are among the first to benefit from a United Nations programme that supports these activities. Everyone is committed to developing a national strategy to strengthen the skills and knowledge of those working on climate change. Human activities increase atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases – which tend to warm the atmosphere – and still in some aerosol regions – that tend to cool the atmosphere. These combined changes in greenhouse gases and aerosols are expected to result in regional and global changes in climate and climate parameters such as temperature, precipitation, soil moisture and sea level. Based on the range of climate sensitivities reported by the IPCC Working Group I for increasing greenhouse gas concentrations and plausible emission zones (IPCC 1992), experienced climate models, taking into account greenhouse gases and aerosols, an increase in the average global surface temperature of about 1-3.5oC by 2100 and a rise in sea level of about 15 to 95 cm. The reliability of regional forecasts remains low and the extent to which climate variability may change is uncertain. However, potentially serious changes have been observed, including an increase in extreme high temperature events, floods and droughts in some areas, with the following consequences of fires, outbreaks of pests and the composition, structure and functioning of the ecosystem, including primary productivity (IPCC, 1995).

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