Climate Change Agreements History: An Overview
Climate change is an issue that has been affecting the planet for years. It has become a global phenomenon that poses a significant threat to the environment and human life. In response, several agreements have been made by the international community to address this problem. In this article, we will discuss the history of climate change agreements, their significance, and their impact on the global environment.
The history of climate change agreements dates back to the late 1970s when scientists began to notice the impact of human activities on the environment, particularly with the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. In 1988, the United Nations General Assembly created the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to address the issue of climate change. The IPCC is responsible for assessing the scientific evidence on climate change and its impacts on the environment and human life.
The first major international agreement on climate change was the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which was signed in 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This agreement established a framework for international cooperation to prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system. The main objective of the UNFCCC was to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.
In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was adopted as a supplementary agreement to the UNFCCC. The Kyoto Protocol marked a major milestone in the history of climate change agreements. It set binding targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions for industrialized countries, with the aim of reducing emissions by 5.2% below 1990 levels by 2012. The Kyoto Protocol was the first agreement that included legally binding emission reduction targets for industrialized countries.
The Kyoto Protocol, however, faced challenges. The United States, one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases, did not ratify the agreement. And some countries, such as China and India, were not bound by the agreement because they were classified as developing countries. Additionally, some countries that did sign the agreement did not meet their emissions targets.
The Paris Agreement, signed in 2015, was a landmark agreement that aimed to limit global warming to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. The agreement was made under the UNFCCC and marked a new era of international cooperation on climate change. Unlike the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement included all countries, developed and developing, in the effort to address climate change. The Paris Agreement aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by the second half of the century.
In conclusion, climate change is a global problem that requires global solutions. The history of climate change agreements is a testament to the international community`s commitment to addressing this issue. From the UNFCCC to the Paris Agreement, these agreements have set the stage for international cooperation on climate change. While there are still challenges to be addressed, these agreements represent a significant step forward in addressing climate change and protecting the environment.