The PARIS AGREEMENT (also referred to simply as the ‘Agreement’) was an international environmental agreement adopted in 1995 at COP 21 in Paris, France. 195 nation states and the European Union signed the Agreement, however the United Stated withdrew from the agreement in 2020. The ‘Agreement’ built upon the UNFCCC (1992) (also referred to simply as the ‘Convention’) and the KYOYO PROTOCOL (1997) (also referred to simply as the ‘Protocol’). While the ‘Convention’ had committed ‘developed countries’ to adopt national policies with a view to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions to their 1990 levels, the ‘Protocol’ set a defined target and a deadline for meeting that target by committing ‘developed countries’ to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions by at least 5% of their 1990 levels by the end of 2012. The key difference with the ‘Agreement’ was that it required all participating countries rather than just ‘developed countries’ to set targets and adopt policies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to regularly report on their progress. The ‘Agreement’ did not force any country to set a specific emissions target by a specified date like ‘developed countries’ were set with the ‘Protocol’, but each target set should go beyond previously set targets.

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