What is the Paris Agreement?

In 2015, representatives from 196 nations and territories gathered, as they have been doing every year since 1995, for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). During the convention, held in Paris that year, countries and territories (or “parties”) agreed to an international plan to address climate change, known as the Paris Agreement.

The parties agreed to three objectives, according to the UNFCCC: limit the average global temperature increase to well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, preferably below 1.5 C (2.7 F); build resilience to climate change impacts; and allocate money to these objectives. Each party created its own nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to these goals. Beginning in 2023, the parties will meet every five years to take stock of their progress and plan to ratchet up their NDCs.

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