Under the Paris Agreement, each country must define, plan and report regularly on its contribution to the fight against global warming.  There is no mechanism for a country to set an emission target for a specified date, but any target should go beyond the previous targets. The United States formally withdrew from the agreement the day after the 2020 presidential election, although President-elect Joe Biden said America would return to the agreement after his inauguration.  President Trump is pulling us out of the Paris Climate Agreement. In addition, the agreement establishes a new mechanism to « facilitate the implementation and promotion of respect. » This « non-contradictory » expert panel will try to help countries that are lagging behind their commitments get back on track. There is no penalty for non-compliance. Unfortunately, countries have failed to effectively manage the effects of so-called « reaction measures » in Paris. This lack of convergence will test existing World Trade Organization (WTO) trade rules. There are already controversies in the WTO, for example. B on the application of subsidy schemes to promote clean energy production. Such disputes can only escalate if countries do not address the UNFCCC`s « response measures » in the coming months. The WTO must also find ways other than dispute settlement to better manage the link between trade and climate actions and commitments.
This may mean greater attention to the relationship between trade and climate change and the examination of relevant trade rules to better address this relationship, resulting in a win-win situation. The Paris Agreement establishes a global framework to prevent dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to a level well below 2 degrees Celsius and by making efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It also aims to strengthen countries` capacity to cope with the effects of climate change and to assist them in their efforts. In July 2020, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) announced that it would estimate a 20% probability of global warming relative to pre-industrial values of more than 1.5 degrees Celsius in at least one year between 2020 and 2024, with 1.5 degrees Celsius as a key threshold under the Paris Agreement.   In accordance with Article 2.1, point a), of the agreement, the parties agreed to keep the global temperature increase well below 2 degrees Celsius and to continue their efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The 1.5oC target brings hope to developing countries, particularly in Africa. It will produce less extreme weather for farmers in the tropics, affected by heat waves, floods and cyclones. However, to achieve this goal, it takes enormous efforts, unfortunately absent from the agreement. Even the 2oC target will not be met if current country commitments under planned national contributions (INDC) are met. Paragraph 17 of the text of the Paris decision « …. Notes with concern that the estimates of aggregate greenhouse gas emissions in 2025 and 2030 resulting from INDCs do not fall within 2 degrees Celsius scenarios, but rather lead to a projected level of 55 gigatonnes in 2030.
Of course, more needs to be done and leaders need to come from industrialized countries, while developing countries are also making contributions that match their capacity. By quantifying the damage done to society by CO2 pollution, Trump sees America as an island apart – and we all know what climate change is doing to the islands.