How many countries signed the paris agreement/origin/goals

This is an international treaty that relates to a growing concern around the world: the increase in the average temperature of the earth’s surface. In this article how many countries signed the paris agreement?

A cause for concern, global warming is an environmental and social threat that requires immediate action.

Among them, the union of governments and the main world leaders to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

This is an effort that has in the Paris Agreement one of the most prominent initiatives.

The treaty, established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), has almost 200 participating countries .

There are goals to be met, actions to be put into practice and many debates.

More recently, it made the news due to the notification of the United States’ withdrawal from the global pact to combat climate change .

The information was released in November 2019 by Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State, but its implementation should take a year for procedural reasons.

Contrary to world efforts, the American initiative caused concern, mainly because the country is one of the biggest polluters on the planet .

In this article, you will understand how the US position affects compliance with the Paris Agreement.

What Is The Paris Agreement?

The Paris Agreement is a global commitment to adopt climate policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 onwards, replacing the Kyoto Protocol .

It got its name because it was negotiated in Paris, capital of France, during the COP21 (21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) in December 2015.

During the event, the Paris Agreement was signed by 195 participating countries.

In the act, they all committed themselves to goals to keep global warming below 2ºC, limiting it to 1.5ºC.

That is, the average temperature of the earth’s surface could not rise more than 1.5 degrees in 100 years.

To do so, it would be necessary to implement unprecedented reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, ending global dependence on fossil fuels.

To enter into force, the treaty needed to be ratified – that is, given the status of domestic law – by 92 countries that account for around 55% of greenhouse gas emissions.

The number was later reached and the agreement took effect on November 4, 2016.

In this way, it represented record numbers for an international agreement – ​​the Kyoto Protocol, for example, took eight years to have the minimum number of ratifications required by the UN .

As of June 2017, 195 countries have signed the agreement and 147 have ratified it.

In 2020, the total number of signatories drops to 194 , with the departure already notified from the United States.

How Did The Paris Agreement Come About?

Created to replace the Kyoto Protocol from 2020, the Paris Agreement is the first pact to pressure countries to implement action plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Even though the treaty makes it clear that each country is free to collaborate as it can, it required the creation of documents to formalize its climate action.

To be part of the international treaty, each of the participating countries had to prepare a document called the NDC: Nationally Determined Contributions .

These records show how nations intend to reduce their domestic emissions and also account for strategies to do so.

Each of the commitments assumed by the governments was prepared according to what they consider feasible, according to the local social and economic scenario .

What Are The Goals Of The Paris Agreement?

Although its main objective is to strengthen the global response to the threats of climate change , the Paris Agreement also encourages countries to deal with the impacts it causes.

Therefore, it drives sustainable development .

After all, the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases contributes to the increase in the planet’s temperature – which has social and environmental consequences.

In response, countries feel a responsibility to think of solutions to reduce environmental impacts .

The global pact also provides that rich nations must invest 100 billion dollars a year in measures to combat climate change and adapt in developing countries.

Another requirement is that commitments be reviewed every five years .

Thus, in 2020, there will be another meeting between the main world leaders to calibrate goals and think of new actions to better preserve the planet.

Learn about other goals and guidelines raised by the Paris Agreement:

  • Helping least developed countries reduce vulnerability to extreme weather events
  • Stimulating financial and technological support from developed countries to help least developed countries meet the 2020 targets
  • Boost cooperation between cities, communities, financial institutions, indigenous peoples, the private sector and civil society to expand and strengthen actions to combat global warming
  • Promote technological development for the adaptation of participating countries to climate change.

Background To The Paris Agreement

Further on, still in this article, we will bring details of other important environmental treaties for the planet.

Two of them stand out as predecessors to the Paris Agreement.

They are as follows:

  • Kyoto Protocol : agreed in 1997 to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, lasting from 2008 to 2013 and which had its protocol extended until 2020 with the Doha Amendment in 2012.
  • Durban Platform : created in 2011, during COP21, to negotiate and govern climate change mitigation measures from 2020, and which came into force on 4 November 2016.

Paris Agreement: Current Situation

As already highlighted, in 2020, the Paris Agreement will replace the Kyoto Protocol and will also have 194 signatory countries, now without the presence of the United States.

It is a landmark year for the treaty, therefore.

The demand will be increasing on the participants, so that they fulfill the commitments assumed 

The two goals were created based on the 2005 numbers.

However, according to a UN report released in November 2019 , the commitments are not enough to keep global warming within the target.

And while criticizing the reduction of the budget for activities involving climate change, he praised the advances in the renewable energy sector since 2015 and also the investments in rail transport.

Which Countries Are Participating In The Paris Agreement?

Even with the important departure of the United States from the Paris Agreement, the world’s biggest polluters are still there .

Some examples of polluting countries participating among the 195 signatures are:

  • Germany
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • South Korea
  • China (counting Hong Kong and Macau)
  • India
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Russia.

Microstates that together have no more than 150,000 inhabitants and that are also participating include:

  • liechtenstein
  • monaco
  • nauru
  • palau
  • San Marino
  • Tuvalu.

Among the countries that are going through regional conflicts or war , but still signing the Paris Agreement, are:

  • Afghanistan
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Cameroon
  • Chad
  • Egypt
  • Ethiopia
  • Yemen
  • Iraq
  • Libya
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Kenya
  • Somalia
  • Sudan
  • Southern Sudan
  • Turkey.

Now, among the countries that did not initially adhere to the Paris Agreement, three specific cases can be highlighted: Nicaragua, Syria and the Vatican.

Nicaragua claimed the agreement was ambitious and ineffective, but after being devastated by hurricanes in 2017, it backtracked and acceded to the agreement .

Syria, on the other hand, was not part of the global pact because of the civil war it faces – which also changed in 2017 .

Meanwhile, the Vatican has not signed the global pledge due to the Holy See not being a party to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change.

Other Environmental Treaties

In addition to the Paris Agreement, it is important to note that concern for issues related to the environment has always been on the agenda among international agreements .

Here are some examples of environmental treaties carried out in recent decades that also deserve attention:

Stockholm Conference

Held between June 5 and 16, 1972, in Sweden, the Stockholm Conference initiated international discussions on the environment.

It was a historic milestone for the simple fact that it was the first conference to bring together representatives from different nations to discuss environmental problems.

Organized by the United Nations on the Human Environment, the Stockholm Conference brought together 113 countries.

Some of the topics discussed at the event, in addition to atmospheric pollution, were water and soil pollution caused by industrialization and pressure from population growth in relation to natural resources.

Montreal Protocol

Signed in 1987, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is an international agreement that aims to reduce the emission of CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) gases – one of the main responsible for the reduction of the ozone layer.

Considered one of the most successful environmental agreements in history, it was adopted by 197 countries.


Held exactly 20 years after the Stockholm Conference, the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio-92 or Eco-92 , took place in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

The meeting brought together 172 countries to discuss the main environmental problems faced in the world and discuss goals to reduce the impacts caused by them.

A meeting that served to alert the international political community about the importance of reconciling socioeconomic development with the use of natural resources.

The meeting also became known as the Earth Summit .

Kyoto Protocol

Signed in 1997, the Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty that originated in the city of Kyoto, Japan.

As a warning to the world about the increase in global warming and the greenhouse effect, it was the first agreement to create targets to reduce the emission of harmful gases into the atmosphere.

However, it only came into force on February 16, 2005, during the COP 11 in Montreal.

The commitment was divided into two periods:

  • In the first, from 2008 to 2012, 37 industrialized countries and the European Community committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 5% compared to 1990
  • In the second, between 2013 and 2020, to reduce emissions by at least 18% less than in 1990.

Among the countries that signed and ratified the protocol were Brazil , Argentina, Peru, Russia, Tanzania and Australia.

River +10

In order to evaluate and calibrate the agreements discussed during Rio-92, in 1992, Rio+10 was held 10 years later in Johannesburg , South Africa.

The meeting took place between August 26th and September 4th, 2002 to discuss the progress made so far.

It also acted as a kind of reinforcement on the urgency for the 189 participating countries to meet the targets aligned 10 years earlier.

Hundreds of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) were present at the meeting.

In addition to the debate on preserving the environment, Rio +10 also raised measures to reduce the number of people living below the poverty line by 50% by 2015.

Water supply, basic sanitation , energy and health were other topics discussed.

COP 15

The Climate Conference of the Parties took place between the 7th and 18th of December 2009 in the city of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The goal? Bring together 193 member countries of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to discuss solutions to tackle the problems generated by global warming.

During the meeting, a prediction by scientists was presented that pointed out that the Earth’s temperature could not rise more than 2ºC compared to pre-industrial levels until the end of the century.

The reason was simple: this would bring about irreversible changes in terms of climate impacts.

Therefore, a global agenda of actions was defined to control the warming of the planet and guarantee human survival.

River +20

With the participation of more than 180 countries, Rio +20 (United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development) was held between June 13 and 22, 2012, again in the city of Rio de Janeiro.

The objective of the meeting was to strengthen and ensure sustainable development among the 188 participating countries (including representatives from the Vatican, Palestine and the European Community).

Among the main topics discussed during the event, emphasis is placed on the concept of green economy – economic growth driven by the reduction of the emission of polluting gases into the atmosphere.

COP 21

Finally, there is the COP 21 , an event held from November 30 to December 11, 2015, near Paris-Le Bourget, which culminated in the signing of the Paris Agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol.

Also called the Paris Climate Conference, the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) also hosted the 11th Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol.

It aimed to make decisions on the implementation of the convention and the fight against climate change with 195 signatory countries.

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