The agreement also drives efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, which scientists say is a safer defense line against the worst impacts of a changing climate.
“For the first time, every country in the world has pledged to curb emissions, strengthen resilience and join in common cause to take common climate action,” UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon said.
The Paris Agreement covers:
- Mitigation — reducing emissions fast enough to achieve the temperature goal.
- A transparency system and global stock-take — accounting for climate action.
- Adaptation — strengthening ability of countries to deal with climate impacts.
- Loss and damage — strengthening ability to recover from climate impacts.
- Support — including finance, for nations to deal with climate change.
The agreement also says that future national plans will be no less ambitious than existing ones. Countries are required to will submit updated climate plans — called nationally determined contributions (NDCs) — every five years.
Climate action will also move forward in the period before 2020. Additionally, countries they will work to define a roadmap on ratcheting up climate finance to $100 billion by 2020, the agreement says.
COP21 also saw private businesses pledge to take action to limit their own emissions including commitments from more than 5,000 global companies that together represent over $38 trillion in revenue.