Paris Agreement on Climate Change Current Affairs - 2019

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Russia formally joins Paris Agreement on Climate Change

Russia has formally accepted the 2015 Paris agreement on Climate Change. The Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev has recently signed a document in this regard. As per the document Russia will now allocate financial resources towards developing countries for prevention of and adaptation to climate change.

Key Highlights

United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York: The formal support by Russia to Paris climate agreement comes came just hours ahead of a new major UN climate summit. The new major Climate Action Summit in New York is aimed towards reinvigorate faltering Paris accord as mankind is releasing more greenhouse gases than ever into the atmosphere. It is trying to tackle ever increasing gas emissions.

What is Paris Agreement? It is an agreement within United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) that was signed in 2016. It deals with greenhouse-gas-emissions (GHG) mitigation, adaptation, and finance.

This agreement on climate change gives countries a choice in how to join accords by ratification, acceptance, approval/accession to agreement which depends on their national legislation.

Important Fact

Russia is world’s fourth largest emitter.

Russia had signed the Paris accord in 2016, however, the recent decision to ‘accept’ the accord signifies Russia’s consent to obligations under Paris Agreement.

As of now there are 11 countries which are yet to formally ratify Paris Agreement. These are: Iran, Oman, Yemen, Angola, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, South Sudan, Suriname, and Eritrea.

Paris Climate Deal: US to Withdraw

President Donald Trump has announced that the United States is set to withdraw from the historic 2015 Paris Accord as the accord was hurting his country and economy very badly. However, he has said that he is open for a “new transaction” on terms that are fair to the US.

With the decision to pull out, the United States will join the short list of countries including Syria and Nicaragua that are not a part of the Paris Accord which has been signed by 195 countries in 2015. The Paris Agreement on Climate Change came into effect in November last year.

Reasons

Donald Trump has held that the deal was not tough enough on India and China.  

According to Trump, Paris Accord was unfair to the United States. He has held that implementation of Paris Accord would adversely impact the paper, cement, iron and steel, coal, and natural gas sectors of the American economy. It would also inflict a loss of $3 trillion in GDP, loss of 6.5 million industrial jobs and $7,000 less in annual income for American households.

Implications

Being the world’s second biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, the exit of United States from the accord have raised questions about the fate of the accord. There are also fears that some more reluctant countries may also follow the steps of US in quitting the climate deal.

As per the various estimates provided by entities like Climate Interactive and Climate Action Tracker, if US doesn’t reach its Paris Accord goal, then an additional 0.1 to 0.3 degrees Celsius will be added to global warming by 2100.

With the exit of the US, China and EU are set to announce an alliance to take on a leadership role determined to protect the Paris Accord.