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The Environment Council has adopted conclusions that define the EU`s position for the UN climate change conference to be held in Paris. Ministers agreed that the EU intends to reach an ambitious, legally binding and dynamic agreement to keep global warming below 2oC. While the agreement has been welcomed by many, including French President Francois Hollande and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, criticism has also emerged. James Hansen, a former NASA scientist and climate change expert, expressed anger that most of the agreement is made up of “promises” or goals, not firm commitments.  He called the Paris talks a fraud with “nothing, only promises” and believed that only a generalized tax on CO2 emissions, which is not part of the Paris agreement, would force CO2 emissions down fast enough to avoid the worst effects of global warming.  The EU and its member states are among the nearly 190 parties to the Paris Agreement. The EU formally ratified the agreement on 5 October 2016, allowing it to enter into force on 4 November 2016. In order for the agreement to enter into force, at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions had to file their ratification instruments. It is rare that there is a consensus among almost all nations on a single subject. But with the Paris agreement, world leaders agreed that climate change was driven by human behaviour, that it was a threat to the environment and to humanity as a whole, and that global action was needed to stop it. In addition, a clear framework has been put in place for all countries to make commitments to reduce emissions and strengthen these measures over time. Here are some important reasons why the agreement is so important: Article 28 of the agreement allows the parties to withdraw from the agreement after sending a notice of payment to the custodian.
This notification can only take place three years after the agreement for the country comes into force. The payment is made one year after the transfer. Alternatively, the agreement provides that the withdrawal of the UNFCCC, under which the Paris Agreement was adopted, also withdraws the state from the Paris Agreement. The terms of the UNFCCC`s exit are the same as those of the Paris Agreement. There is no provision in the agreement for non-compliance. The Paris climate conference was held from 30 November to 12 December 2015. This was the 21st meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 11). Delegations from some 150 countries participated in negotiations for a new comprehensive and legally binding agreement on climate change. Indeed, research shows that the cost of climate activity far outweighs the cost of reducing carbon pollution. A recent study suggests that if the United States does not meet its climate targets in Paris, it could cost the economy up to $6 trillion in the coming decades.
A lack of compliance with the NPNs currently foreseen in the agreement could reduce global GDP by more than 25% by the end of the century. Meanwhile, another study estimates that achieving – or even exceeding – the Paris targets by investing in infrastructure in clean energy and energy efficiency could have great benefits globally – about $19 trillion. Negotiators of the agreement stated that the INDCs presented at the time of the Paris conference were insufficient and found that “the estimates of aggregate greenhouse gas emissions in 2025 and 2030 resulting from the planned contributions at the national level are not covered by the least expensive scenarios of 2oC, but lead to a projected level of 55 gigatons in 2030.” and acknowledges that “much greater efforts to reduce emissions will be required to keep the global average temperature increase to less than 2 degrees Celsius, by reducing emissions to 40 gigatonnes or 1.5 degrees Celsius.”