A Comparison between the Adopted Class Agreement and the Paris Agreement
The goal of the Adopted Class Agreement (Freedom, Free markets, and Fossil Fuels for Export for all!) is to slow, stop and reverse forest cover and carbon loss. The agreement settled on continuously enhancing market-based policies for sustained progress towards mitigation of the negative aspects of climate change. Similarly, the Paris Agreement (PA) is a treaty within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) concerned with alleviation, acclimatization, and funding of greenhouse gasses emissions beginning the year 2020. Just as the Adopted Class Agreement (ADC), the Paris Agreement also strengthens the capability of adapting to the harmful effects of climate change and encourages climate resilience and minimal greenhouse gas emissions (Clémençon 3). The important goal of the two agreements was to minimize carbon emissions and regulate global warming.
In terms of funding, both agreements ensure that there are funds to help in the process of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development. The ADC settled on having two funds with two separate committees. The first fund is the Global Renewable Energy Fund, which focuses on holding all nations to a similar percentage of national GDP and emissions to contribute towards the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Part of the total national GDP of all signatory nations, except for the countries in the bottom 30% of global GDP per capita, would be donated to the fund from every signatory nation. Such process would ensure that all nations contribute equally according to their capabilities and emissions. Additionally, an impartial council of economist and scientists would oversee the fund to ensure that every nation gives out the amount pledged. The second fund for our agreement is the Relief Aid Fund, which is an emergency fund that protects small island countries and developing countries from the dangers of climate change. Every developed nation is supposed to contribute based on its GHG emissions. Similarly, finance was an argumentative issue in Paris, whereby poorer developing nations sought confirmation that they would receive financial aid. Additionally, developed nations pushed for richer developing nations to also contribute. Both parties succeeded, and the agreement obligates developed countries to give funds for mitigation and adaptation in developing nations. Other key concerns entailed whether to establish a new finance mobilization target outside the $100 billion each year in public and private resources pledged by developed nations, and whether to create a procedure of reviewing the question every five years. The Convention of Parties resolved to raise $100 billion per year up to 2025 when a higher annual goal will be set. Besides giving a report on funds that have been given and received, developed nations agreed to submit every two years suggestive quantitative and qualitative data on future support, which includes anticipated levels of public funds, and other nations are motivated to do so willingly (Clémençon 9).
Both agreements settle on continuously enhancing market-based policies for sustained development towards mitigation of the negative elements of climate change. As a way of evading any direct reference to the utilization of market-based methods, the Paris Agreement acknowledges that parties can utilize internationally transferred mitigation outcomes to effect their NDCs. The agreement also necessitates that parties participating in these transfers should avoid double counting –which was a loophole in the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism. The leaders came up with new strategies to reduce emissions. Additionally, the regulations for the new method are to be implemented when parties meet for the first time after the agreement is approved.
Both the PA and the ADC acknowledge the negative impacts that might arise from the process of tackling climate change. The Adopted Class Agreement notes that living things may be reliant on undertakings associated with drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and that dealing with such drivers may have an economic cost and repercussions for domestic resources. Since global warming’s effects on small island nations are usually severe, the Paris agreement made provisions that incorporate the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage. The system created as a temporary body at COP 19 is responsible for establishing strategies of assisting vulnerable nations to deal with inevitable impacts, which include severe weather incidents and slow-onset outcomes like sea-level rise. Probable strategies include timely cautionary systems and risk insurance. Moreover, at the persistence of developed nations, headed by the United States, the associated COP decision stipulates that the loss and damage provision does not entail or issue a basis for any liability or compensation (Clémençon 15)
The two agreements assert that currently, climate change is among the major challenges in the society. Therefore, all Parties are looking forward to a lasting cooperative action that will help in attaining the objective of the Convention as well as the attainment of a global goal, based on fairness and according to common but differentiated roles and respective abilities. Such vision guides the guidelines and activities of all Parties while considering their different conditions based on the values and provisions of the Convention. The vision tackles alleviation, alteration, finance, technology advancement and transfer, and capacity building in a fair, incorporated, and inclusive manner to improve and attain the complete, effectual, and continued execution of the Convention (Rogelj et al. 632).
Both agreements recognize that climate change is a common issue in people’s lives, and Parties need to respect, promote and consider their particular responsibilities for rights, safety and the health of native people, local communities, immigrants, children, individuals with disabilities and those in defenseless situations, as well as gender parity, empowerment of women, and intergenerational fairness when making decisions to manage climate change.
The agreements recognize the importance strengthening knowledge, technologies, traditions and the determination of local communities and indigenous individuals associated with tackling and responding to climate change. They encourage benchmarking programs between nations. The agreements also understand the significant role of offering inducements for emission reduction events and tools like domestic policies and carbon pricing.
Just as the Paris Agreement, which recognizes the harmful effect of greenhouse gasses, the Adopted Class Agreement highlights the density of the problem, different national circumstances and the various causes of deforestation and forest degradation. The Adopted Class Agreement asserts that in the setting of the provision of sufficient and anticipated support to developing nation Parties, all Parties need to focus jointly on slowing, halting, and reversing forest cover and carbon loss based on national circumstances and in harmony with the final goal of the Convention.
The two agreements recognize the fact that climate change signifies a crucial and possibly irreparable danger to nations and therefore demands maximum cooperation by all nations, and engagement in an efficient and suitable international response. This will assist in accelerating the minimization of global greenhouse gas emissions. The two agreements also understand that recognition of deep reductions in global emissions will be necessary for attaining the critical objective of the Convention and stress the need for urgency in managing climate change (Rogelj et al. 635).
The two agreements state the need to enhance global access to sustainable energy in developing nations, especially in Africa, using advanced utilization of renewable energy. Additionally, parties decided to maintain and enhance local and an international collaboration that encourages a greater participation of communities and non-governmental organizations.
Like the Paris Agreement, the Adopted Class Agreement Stresses that national and global GHG emission reduction guidelines should be flexible, nationally defined, and cost effective, as demonstrated by options, such as Emission Trading Schemes, as well as the Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation Initiative that managed to create cleaner technologies into non-Annex I nations. The ADC is ready to implement the reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing nations and conservation (REDD+), following agreement on its operative rulebook (Rogelj et al. 637)
The agreements emphasize the durable advantage of having ambitious and timely action, which aim at adopting cheaper but sustainable options in preventing and adapting to climate change. The PA commits a precise article to the importance of forests and other ecosystems in climate change mitigation, issuing a firm political signal that nations need to adopt and support forest protection, maintainable management, and renovation. Article five of the Paris Agreement reminds nations that they need to preserve and improve the sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases that are available in various natural ecosystems, such as forests, oceans, and other terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems. The article also features the earlier COP decisions associated with REDD+, which indicate that it is important for nations to implement and support REDD+ as a significant part of their activities based on the new agreement. The article mentions the current COP decisions and guidance for REDD+, and does not ascertain new managerial or technical elements (Rogelj et al. 639).
Differences exist between the two agreements. Firstly, in order to minimize global warming, the objective of the Adopted Class Agreement was to lessen the carbon emissions to a certain level, while the Paris Agreement was to regulate the temperature rise to two degree Celsius from pre-industrial levels. Moreover, the ADC focusses on minimizing the utilization of fossil fuels and eradicating deforestation whereas the PA mainly concentrates on switching to renewable energy.
Secondly, the Paris Agreement provides that all nations are responsible for minimizing greenhouse gases instead of just the rich or Annex- 1 countries, which were responsible for the massive GHGs concentration in the atmosphere. According to the PA, developing countries will also engage in reducing GHGs by implementing nationally determined input. In contrast, the Adopted Class Agreement affirms that all nations, apart from those in the bottom 20% of GDP, are devoted to minimizing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70% of their present emissions level by 2050.
Thirdly, unlike the Adopted Class Agreement, which does not put a lot of emphasis on transparency, the Paris Agreement highly focuses on transparency as a way of holding nations responsible. Beyond bifurcation, the PA pays is customized for all parties and is sensitive to changes in their economy. All nations are supposed to present emissions records and the details required to monitor the progress made in effecting and attaining their NDCs. The COP decision states that, with the exclusion of least developed and small island nations, such reports need to be presented at least every two years. Additionally, developed nations “shall” report on assistance offered. Moreover, developing nations “should” report on aid received, and all nations “should” account for their adaptation efforts (Clémençon 20).
In terms of Legal Character, the Paris Agreement is a pact under international law; however, only certain provisions are legally binding. On the contrary, the adopted class agreement is legally binding. In the PA, the concern of which provisions to make binding, which are expressed as “shall” and not “should” was a major issue to several nations, especially the United States, which preferred an agreement the president could assent without trying to find congressional consent. The last stage in Paris was bargaining a correction of replacing “should” for “shall” in a provision requiring developed nations to assume total economy-wide emissions targets. Besides the Adopted Class Agreement being legally binding, it would be enforced through a committee of five nations comprising three developing countries: India, Brazil, and AOSIS represented by Maldives as well as two developed countries that alternate every two years. The committee was to function as a board to control other nations and ensure that the clauses are obeyed, the goals are attained, and funds are fairly assigned. Additionally, the regulating need to be carried out in two ways: positive reinforcement with a reward for over attaining goals and negative outcomes in terms of increasing involvement when goals are not attained (Clémençon 16).
In terms of compliance, the Adopted Class Agreement has a neutral council of economists and scientists who monitor the funds to ensure that every nation contributes the amount pledged. On the contrary, the Paris Agreement decrees that the committee, as mentioned in Article 15, paragraph 2 of the Agreement, should have 12 members with required experience inappropriate scientific, technical, socio-economic, or legal fields. They are chosen by the Conference of the Parties functioning as the meeting of the Parties to the PA based on fair geographical representation, with two members each from Africa, Asia-Pacific, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. The small islands and third world nations also have a representative each.
Which of the Two is a Better Agreement, and What Conditions Enabled the Better Agreement to be Reached?
The Paris Agreement is better than the Adopted Class Agreement because the Paris agreement offers certain support systems to attain effectual implementation. Firstly, the financial mechanism was created whereby developed nations are being compelled to develop a Green Climate Fund of approximately $100 billion to assist developing nations in attaining their goals. Secondly, there is international collaboration where the PA emphasizes on international cooperation to establish environment –friendly technologies in addition to technology transfer to developing nations. It also decided to undertake joint projects to attain the set goals. The Paris Agreement is a landmark deal in countries’ efforts to protect the environment. Therefore, it should be effected in letter and spirit with much co-operation and harmonization (Clémençon 19).
Additionally, the Paris agreement established a support system to efficiently implement the treaty, which included the following. Firstly, collaboration and assistance is offered in different sections, such as timely warning systems, emergency preparation and minimization of risks. Secondly, the treaty organized for the creation of new technologies and their transfer from developed to developing nations to assist them in lessening and adapting to climate change. The PA ensures that targets are revised every five years to monitor the joint development in effecting the pact. Technology and finance transfer from developed to developing nations also plays a major role in the success of the PA. There is much determination to make the Agreement a success through cooperation and harmonization (Morgan et al. 20).
Lately, the Paris agreement has attained the necessitated ratification threshold with the confirmation of EU. The approval has happened faster than it was anticipated. The Paris agreement is in a better position because it provides for the establishment of a fund supported by the developed nations of $100 billion every year by 2020 to help the developing nations to attain their goals under the agreement. Such goals, known as the INDCs (Intended Nationally Defined Contributions) are stated by both the developing and the developing nations. Nonetheless, many of the INDCs of developing nations are founded on the supposition of economic aid under the fund.
Another factor that enabled the Paris Agreement to be reached is mitigation, whereby parties are advised to approve and effect the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol up to 2020, to create and execute a mitigation vow, and enhance evaluation and reporting procedures. Parties decided to reinforce the current technical assessment procedures on mitigation, which denotes effective collaboration with non-country stakeholders, enhanced consultations, and distribution of results (Morgan et al. 22).
The adaptation was another factor where parties decided to introduce a technical analysis of adaptation, which would work in a way similar to the technical inspection on mitigation, concentrating on lesson sharing and recognizing opportunities for enactment and supportive actions.
The Paris Agreement will also be important only to the degree that it can foster domestic policy alteration, cross-national technical aid, and social pressure to minimize countries’ dependence on fossil fuels. Its new emphasis on clear national tactics is hypothetically essential. Furthermore, when civil society organizations have access to high quality information concerning their governments’ guidelines and functioning, it can be a strong force for transformation. Numerous researches indicate that even when policy reformers have fallen short of their essential policy goals (for example binding national climate commitments) reviews on how decision-making takes place can result in useful long-term effects.
The Paris Agreement and the Adopted Class Agreement are remarkable plans to ensure a low-carbon future. The Agreements represent an exceptional breakthrough in the battle against climate change, but also a new era in terms of policies. The agreements are a realistic deal that produces what is required –tools for holding nations responsible and building an aspiration over time. The agreements will assist nations to accomplish their commitments, and are concluding a Climate Change Action Plan to further incorporate climate change into their processes. The Paris Agreement is capable of reviving international emissions trading after 2020
Clémençon, Raymond. “The Two Sides of the Paris Climate Agreement: Dismal Failure or Historic Breakthrough?” (2016): 3-24.
Morgan, Jennifer, Yamide Dagnet, and Dennis Tirpak. “Elements and Ideas for the 2015 Paris Agreement.” Washington, DC: Agreement for Climate Transformation (2014).
Rogelj, Joeri, et al. “Paris Agreement Climate Proposals Need a Boost to Keep Warming Well Below 2 C.” Nature 534.7609 (2016): 631-639.