While the Paris Agreement ultimately aims to cap global temperature rise at 1.5 degrees Celsius in this century, many studies evaluating the voluntary pledges individual countries made in Paris show that the cumulative effect of those emissions reductions won’t be large enough to keep temperatures under that cap. Indeed, the targets countries laid out are expected to limit future temperature rise to between 2.7 and 3.7 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, current evaluations of how countries are performing in the context of their Paris climate goals indicate some nations are already falling short of their commitments.
However, it’s important to remember the Paris Agreement isn’t static. Instead, it’s designed to boost countries’ national efforts over time—meaning that current commitments represent the floor, not the ceiling, of climate change ambition. The heavy lifting—reining in emissions even further by 2030 and 2050—still needs to be done, and the accord provides the tools to ensure that happens.
Reflecting the collective belief of nearly every nation on earth that climate change is humanity’s war to fight, the Paris Agreement exposes America’s climate skeptics—including Trump—as global outliers. In fact, the mobilization of support for climate action across the country and the world provides hope that the Paris Agreement marked a turning point in the fight against climate change. We can all contribute to the cause by seeking opportunities to slash global warming contributions—at the individual, local, and national levels. The effort will be well worth the reward of a safer, cleaner world for future generations.
The president’s promise to renegotiate the international climate agreement was always a smogscreen, the oil industry has a red phone at Interior, and will Trump bring food trucks to Old Faithful?
Nicolas Holiber’s reclaimed-wood sculptures highlight the threat of climate change to avian city-dwellers.
Looking for a silver lining in the harrowing United Nations climate change report? Here it is: We can determine the impact of climate change by the political, economic, and social choices we make today.
NRDC is working to help make the Global Climate Action Summit a success by inspiring more ambitious commitments to the historic 2015 agreement and enhanced pollution-slashing initiatives.
The agreement’s authors built in a time line for withdrawal that President Trump will have to follow—slowing him down from irreparably damaging our climate.
We know that you know that Trump’s assessment of the Paris Agreement is way off base. Here’s how to convince those who don’t.
The administration cites the likelihood of catastrophic global temperature rise to justify gutting fuel-efficiency standards. Yes, you read that correctly.
The U.N. report warns that dire impacts from climate change will arrive sooner than many expected. Here’s why we need to follow the report’s advice, and why every ton of emissions reductions can make a difference.
The American people believe in climate change—and are committed to doing something about it.
NRDC senior attorney Ben Longstreth explains how plaintiffs for these cases get chosen—and how you can help advance the cause in or out of the courtroom.
In quantifying carbon pollution's damage to society, Trump sees America as an island unto itself—and we all know what climate change does to islands.