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Although the agreement was signed in December 2015, the treaty did not enter into force until November 4, 2016, 30 days after ratification by at least 55 countries representing 55% of global emissions. But even if the United States decided to re-enter the agreement, it would have implications for outsourcing and the implementation of a few months. It was adopted by 196 states in December 2015 following three international conferences this year: Sendai on disaster risk reduction; Addis Ababa on development finance; and New York on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). When world leaders celebrated in Paris in December 2015 that they reached a pioneering agreement on climate change, the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe were illuminated by green flood lights and the embassy “Paris Agreement is done!” (The Paris Agreement is concluded!). Now, five years of turbulence later, a new slogan could be “work in progress.” “We know that the UK and the EU, as well as the UN Secretary-General, are planning an event on 12 December, the fifth anniversary of the conclusion of negotiations on the Paris Agreement, where they will try to achieve more ambition,” said Andrew Light. “We have worked very hard to ensure that every country in the world can join this new agreement. And so, by losing one, we feel like we have failed. In the preparations for Paris, more than 150 countries presented national climate targets that cover nearly 90% of global emissions. An agreement in Paris will not be the end point, but it can be a turning point in how all countries that act together within an agreed and transparent regulatory framework, defining a way to limit the increase in global temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius – the internationally agreed goal. The Paris Agreement, adopted in Paris on 12 December 2015 and signed on 22 April 2016 at UN headquarters in New York, came into force on 4 November 2016 after being ratified by 96 states (compared to 188 previously) and reflects the resurgence of strong international climate ambitions. As President of the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), France has mobilized for rapid ratification of the Paris Agreement and has made the fight against global warming a priority on its diplomatic agenda. The Paris Agreement is an unusual mix of steep ambitions and few enforcement mechanisms.

Every country in the world has committed to take steps to keep global temperature rise “well below” 2 degrees Celsius until 2100. This would require weaning fossil fuels for energy and transportation, controlling forest loss, overhauling food production and finding ways to suck greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. But to achieve this goal, countries have been allowed to present their own goals and plans on how to achieve them. It is too short with few concrete sanctions. No country was able to denounce the withdrawal of the agreement before the expiry of a three-year period from the date of ratification.