Finally, instead of giving China and India a passport to pollution, as Trump asserts, the pact is the first time these two major developing countries have agreed on concrete and ambitious climate commitments. The two countries, which are already poised to be world leaders in renewable energy, have made considerable progress in achieving their Paris goals. And since Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the agreement, the Chinese and Indian leaders have reaffirmed their commitment and continued to implement domestic policies to achieve their goals. It will also enable the contracting parties to gradually strengthen their contributions to the fight against climate change in order to achieve the long-term objectives of the agreement. Many issues of the Paris Agreement need to be resolved, such as the differentiation of developed and developing countries. Second, the Paris Agreement introduces limited self-differentiation of countries` responsibilities through its national climate change plans, known as national contributions (NDCs). These climate change plans are universal (i.e. each country formulates one), from the bottom up (i.e. countries set their own priorities and ambitions) (Mbeva and Pauw, 2016) and “contributions” instead of the tougher “commitments” usually used in international treaties (Rajamani, 2015). Self-differentiation is limited by the terms “progress” and “maximum ambitions” to which the NDCs must comply (Voigt and Ferreira, 2016). The Paris Agreement encourages the parties to formulate and communicate “long-term strategies for the development of greenhouse gas emissions” and calls on the parties to communicate these strategies to the UNFCCC by 2020.
Nineteen countries have officially presented their strategies and the 66 countries of the Alliance for Climate Ambition have announced their intention to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Yes, yes. The agreement is considered a “treaty” in international law, but only certain provisions are legally binding. The question of what provisions should be made mandatory was a central concern of many countries, particularly the United States, which wanted an agreement that the President could accept without the approval of Congress. The completion of this test excluded binding emissions targets and new binding financial commitments. However, the agreement contains binding procedural obligations, such as the requirements for the maintenance of successive NPNSPs and consideration of progress in their implementation.