International Policies and Agreements on Climate Change As a world we have realized there are some changes and policies needed to be instilled in order to slow the progress of climate change. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was formed to help stabilize greenhouse gas emissions. At the Convention of Parties (COP) the UNFCCC agreed on the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. The United States of America as well as Australia did not ratify this protocol. Russia ratified the protocol on November 2004, and
Australia soon followed. Out of the 192 countries that did sign the Kyoto Protocol, Afghanistan, Sudan and the USA refused to sign the protocol. The US probably refused to sign the protocol because it is responsible for a quarter of the gas emissions
The protocol included:
-“By 2012 developed countries would reduce their collective emissions by 5.2% from 1990
levels, each country being committed to a particular figure”
-Emissions were not only restricted to carbon, but also included methane, nitrous oxide,
hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride.
-Each country must meet its commitment and measure its contribution.
One of the most recent efforts to solve the problem of climate change comes in form of the Paris Agreement.
At a climate conference (COP21) in Paris in December 2015, 195 countries took part in the first legally binding, universal global climate deal (climate action).
Unlike the Kyoto Protocol, the US led by President Obama joined the Paris Agreement.
In this conference the governments agreed to, but not limited to:
-A goal to keep the increase in global average temperature below 2 degrees.
-Meet every 5 years to set new targets.
-Report to the one another and the public on how they will proceed to reach their tar
-Provide international support to developing countries who are struggling with adapting to the climate change.
When looking back it is easy to wish that we as nations took earlier precautions to
prevent climate change from reaching threatening levels. It is however, important to acknowledge that most people who do recognize the severity of the issue and the implications it has on future generations are trying to make a change.
Active participation on changing the effects of climate change is critical, without it any progress made will soon be followed by regression back to worsened conditions. All these policies instilled in our country are vital steps in the right direction, but there needs to be many more firmer policies created to ensure that we are doing the best we can as a nation.