Health & Safety

Is Anyone Sticking to the Paris Agreement?

Apr 22 2017 Comments 0

It was a pretty big landmark for environmental change when representatives from 195 of the world’s countries signed the Paris Agreement. Has it had the impact that was expected though? With Donald Trump looking to weave his way out of the deal, there has been a lot of attention on the US efforts – or lack of. But, in fact, there are a lot of other countries that aren’t holding up their end of the deal either. Read on to see who is and who isn’t sticking to the Paris agreement.

Coming to an agreement

Opened for signature in April 2016, the agreement has three main aims:

  • Keep the increase in global temperature to below 2°C and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C
  • Improve adaptability to the impacts of climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions without threatening food production
  • Ensure finance flows are maintained in the route towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilience

Basically, the aim of the Paris agreement is to implement positive climate initiatives that don’t adversely affect the lives of the public as a side effect. It’s the world’s first agreement of its kind on climate.

Who kept their word?

Like most international agreements, it only works if everyone sticks to it. It’s no use having 180 small countries keeping their word if the 15 biggest continue to contribute huge amounts of greenhouse gases. But, in reality, it’s far worse than 15 countries ducking the responsibility. In fact, there are only three European countries sticking to the Paris Agreement, according to the latest findings.

The findings are based on research by Carbon Market Watch, which looks into how the different member states would look to change the EU’s climate laws. Based on countries’ positions on things like land use, ambitious targets, compliance and ETS surplus, they have come up with a rankings table. Only the top three – Sweden, Germany and France – are thought to be committed to the cause.

What does this mean?

With the agreement in force since November 2016, it seems countries still aren’t taking it seriously. In the long run, this could lead to many of the nearly 200 countries not meeting targets, making the agreement far less straightforward and far less successful as a result.

Along with this overarching agreement, there are several smaller directives being implemented. The European Union’s Medium Combustion Plant Directive (MCPD), for instance, came into force in December 2015 and will be transposed into each member state by December 2017. But how will it affect plants within those member states? Find out in the article ‘The European Union’s Medium Combustion Plant Directive –  Monitoring and Compliance requirements’

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