The Paris Agreement, which was adopted by members of the United Nations in 2015 and officially took effect in 2016, outlines a global effort to tackle climate change. The goal of the Paris Agreement is to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, with a preferred target of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit).
To achieve this goal, the Paris Agreement sets a target of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. A net-zero emission is when the amount of greenhouse gases emitted is equal to the amount removed from the atmosphere. This target is seen as crucial to preventing the worst impacts of climate change, such as rising sea levels, more frequent and severe natural disasters, and mass extinction of species.
Many countries have already pledged to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, including the European Union, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. The United States, which officially withdrew from the Paris Agreement under former President Trump, has since re-joined under President Biden and has committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 as well.
Achieving net-zero emissions will require a significant shift away from traditional fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas in favor of cleaner energy sources like wind, solar, and hydropower. It will also require changes in transportation, agriculture, and other sectors to reduce emissions.
The Paris Agreement also recognizes the need to support developing countries in their efforts to reduce emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change, through financial and technical support.
The 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is scheduled to take place in Glasgow, Scotland, in November. The conference is expected to focus on increasing global efforts to reduce emissions and achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, including the target of net-zero emissions by 2050.
In conclusion, the Paris Agreement`s target of achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is a crucial effort to prevent the worst impacts of climate change. Many countries have already pledged to work towards this goal, but achieving it will require significant changes in energy, transportation, and other sectors. The upcoming COP26 conference provides an opportunity for countries to come together and increase their efforts to tackle climate change.