The Paris Agreement marks the beginning of a shift towards a low-carbon world – much remains to be done. Implementation of the agreement is essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, as it contains a roadmap to combat climate change to reduce emissions and build resilience to climate change. The Paris Agreement has an “upward” structure unlike most international environmental treaties, which are “top down”, characterized by internationally defined standards and objectives that states must implement.  Unlike its predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol, which sets legal commitment targets, the Paris Agreement, which focuses on consensual training, allows for voluntary and national objectives.  Specific climate targets are therefore politically promoted and not legally binding. Only the processes governing reporting and revision of these objectives are imposed by international law. This structure is particularly noteworthy for the United States – in the absence of legal mitigation or funding objectives, the agreement is seen as an “executive agreement, not a treaty.” Since the 1992 UNFCCC treaty was approved by the Senate, this new agreement does not require further legislation from Congress for it to enter into force.  The Paris Conference was the 21st meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), known as COP 21. The conference concluded a round of negotiations that began in 2011 in Durban, South Africa, with the aim of concluding a new legal agreement between national governments to strengthen the global response to climate change.
150 heads of state and government participated in the opening day of the conference. The Council adopted conclusions on climate change after the U.S. government decided to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. In its conclusions, the Council deplores the decision of the United States Government to withdraw from the Paris Agreement and welcomes the strong commitments made by other countries. At its meeting on 10 November 2015, the ECOFIN Council adopted conclusions on climate finance. The findings recognize the role of climate finance as a means of keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius and towards a transition to climate-resilient greenhouse gas emissions and sustainable economies. They also focused on the EU`s contribution to climate finance, which amounts to $100 billion a year, from a multitude of sources promised by industrialized countries by 2020. Ministers agreed that significant resources were needed to help developing countries cope adequately with climate change. On August 4, 2017, the Trump administration officially announced to the United Nations that the United States intends to withdraw from the Paris Agreement as soon as it is legally entitled to it.  The formal declaration of resignation could not be submitted until after the agreement for the United States came into force on November 4, 2019 for a three-year date.   On November 4, 2019, the U.S. government filed the withdrawal notice with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, custodian of the agreement, and formally withdrew from the Paris Agreement a year later, when the withdrawal came into effect. After the November 2020 elections, President-elect Joe Biden promised to reinstate the United States in the Paris Agreement for his first day in office and renew the U.S. commitment to climate change mitigation.   According to an analysis by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a carbon “budget” based on total emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere (relative to the annual emission rate) has been estimated at 1.5 to 2.25 trillion tonnes since 1870.