As we mark the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement, it`s important to reflect on the progress made and the work that still needs to be done to combat climate change.
For those who may not be familiar, the Paris Agreement was a historic accord signed by 196 countries in 2015 with the goal of limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
So, what has happened in the 5 years since the agreement was signed? Well, there have certainly been strides made in renewable energy development and emissions reduction. For example, in 2020, renewable energy generation surpassed coal for the first time ever in the United States. And, according to the International Energy Agency, global carbon dioxide emissions are expected to decline by 8% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent decrease in energy demand.
However, there is still a long way to go. The Agreement`s 1.5-degree Celsius temperature goal is at risk of being exceeded, and many countries are not on track to meet their emissions reduction targets. The United States, which was a key player in the development of the Paris Agreement, has officially withdrawn from the accord under the Trump administration (though President-elect Biden has pledged to rejoin upon taking office).
So, what can we do to continue making progress? One important step is to prioritize clean energy and sustainable practices in all aspects of life, from personal choices to public policies. This includes investing in renewable energy, promoting energy efficiency, and reducing waste. We also need to hold our governments and corporations accountable for their emissions and make sure they are taking meaningful steps to reduce their carbon footprint.
In conclusion, while there have been positive developments in the 5 years since the Paris Agreement was signed, there is still much work to be done to combat climate change. Let us use this milestone anniversary as a reminder of the urgency of the situation and the need for continued action.