In 2015, the first draft of the Paris Agreement was created, and 55 countries ratified it in the following year. In 2020, 197 countries around the world have signed the agreement, but it raises the question.
Is the Paris Agreement working?
While looking at the rising CO2 emissions may immediately make most people say no, it’s not that simple. While some countries have not done their part, many nations are. And just how far some of these major economies have come in 4 years is astounding.
And trust me, it’s pretty surprising.
It’s Definitely Working
If you took a deep dive into each country’s emissions, we would be here a while. Luckily, the BBC did that work already.
The UK, the world’s fifth-largest economy has lowered emissions by 45% to date from its 1990 levels. The EU, now separate from the UK, saw a decrease of 23.2% in emissions. And perhaps most surprising, China has cut carbon usage by 46% from 2005 levels.
It is worth noting that China has a bit of a caveat. Instead of cutting actual emissions, they are cutting the usage of elements that produce CO2. While it is a good thing, it is not the same.
Outside of individual contributions from nations, another huge result of the Paris Agreement has been the significant reduction in coal usage around the world (except China). Most countries at the very least are adopting natural gas, a cleaner fossil fuel.
Why Are Climate Conditions Worsening?
Of course, not every country is doing its part. Even if some of the countries are seeing exceptional reductions, not everyone is.
For instance, Australia is not doing very well. In fact, it’s one of the biggest sources of fossil fuel in the world. It currently exports the equivalent of 3.6% of global emissions in fossil fuels. And what’s strange about the situation, Australia is the most susceptible to climate change.
Stronger enforcement needs to occur if the Paris Agreement is going to meet its goal, but it is having a positive effect.