Under the agreement, each country has an individual plan (nationally defined contributions) to combat its greenhouse gas emissions. The difficult part is that the agreement has given each country the flexibility to adapt its climate change plan to its own unique circumstances. The agreement itself proved remarkably resilient. Bringing together 196 nations in 2015 was not easy – even when Fabius dropped the agreement, there was a bit of harassment, because Nicaragua had planned to oppose the necessary consensus, but was ignored. Nevertheless, this consensus remained strong. When the United States – the world`s largest economy and the second largest emitter – began withdrawing from Paris in 2017 under President Donald Trump, disaster was expected. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol broke down after the United States signed the agreement but did not ratify it, leaving climate negotiations on hold for a decade. Indeed, research shows that the cost of climate activity far outweighs the cost of reducing carbon pollution. A recent study suggests that if the United States does not meet its climate targets in Paris, it could cost the economy up to $6 trillion in the coming decades. A lack of compliance with the NPNs currently foreseen in the agreement could reduce global GDP by more than 25% by the end of the century.
Meanwhile, another study estimates that achieving – or even exceeding – the Paris targets by investing in infrastructure in clean energy and energy efficiency could have great benefits globally – about $19 trillion. On Monday, the United States filed documents to launch the process of exiting the Paris climate agreement. The release will take effect definitively on November 4, 2020, the day after the next U.S. presidential election. After the ravages of the coronavirus pandemic, the world is facing the abandonment of a global economic recovery. The green recovery of this crisis is itself necessary, the Guardian`s analysis has shown, as countries are still investing money in fossil fuel rescue operations. But there is always reason to be optimistic, given the many countries that have committed to zero net emissions and are increasingly presenting short-term targets for 2030 in order to put us on this path. This week`s climate summit will be an important step, but next year`s Cop26 summit will be the most important test. The Paris agreement, five years later, still offers the best hope of avoiding the worst devastation of climate change: the question is whether countries are willing to support it with actions rather than warmer air. From 30 November to 11 December 2015, France hosted representatives from 196 countries at the end of the Un Climate Change Conference (UN), one of the largest and most ambitious global meetings ever held.