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Shortcomings of Paris Climate Accord
The Paris Climate Accord on global warming was initiated in 2015 after an intense
deliberation for four years. Its initiation was regarded as a sign that climate change had finally
gained the much needed international political agenda (Rogelj et al., 2016). It was assumed that
the creation of the Paris Accord Climate would speed up the multilateral processes in the
formulation of a united global approach to the climate change adaptation and mitigation.
Similarly, it was viewed as one of the global initiatives that would aid the return of the world to
multilateralism as it was seen as being transparent, honest, and inclusive. As such, it led to the
incorporation of a collective ambition of holding the increase in the global average temperature
to below 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial levels and also to increase efforts of
decreasing temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial levels (Rogelj et al.,
2016). However, there are several important shortcomings of the Paris climate accord.
The good intentions of the Paris Agreement
The Paris Agreement brought forth the awareness and urgency among all nations sense of
keeping global warming at manageable levels. Nations also agreed to ensure that the Paris
Agreements is implemented by within the second half of the current century (Rogelj et al., 2016).
The commitment by the governments, businesses, and organizations on the implementation of
the climate reduction initiatives was seen as a good gesture on behalf of the over 7.3 billion
global citizens. Similarly, it was determined that for effective implementation of the agreements,
there would be regular reviews on the progress of implementation and setting of systems and
targets for fast tracking the process. The Paris Agreement proposed a frequent global stocktaking
in consecutive five years with the first being expected in 2023. In preparation for the activity,
countries are expected to hold a meeting in 2019 (Rogelj et al., 2016).
The Agreement has made the nations to acknowledge the possible threat to the world’s
natural resources. Nations have realized that the existing ongoing emissions due to
industrialization has increasingly promoted the negative consequences on the natural systems of
the earth leading to frequent natural disastrous. Similarly, the global temperature has been
estimated to have risen by more than 1 degree Celsius from the pre-industrial time (Rogelj et al.,
2016). The agreement further puts considerable emphasis on weather related events with a view
to increase awareness and promote its implementation. Furthermore, it has placed a lot of weight
on the campaign for the adaptation a global goal for strengthening the ability of the countries to
implement its recommendations and adapt to the climate change impacts (Rogelj et al., 2016).
The Paris Agreement has also recognized the difficulties that are faced by various
nations in their attempt to adapt its recommendations, as such it also proposed the funding of
developing countries by the richer countries to aid in their implementation processes. The
agreement has proposed that richer countries should work towards raising resources to the level
of US$100 billion every year by the year 2020 (Bodansky, 2016). At the same time it has
proposed the setting of a goal by the 2025 in extending the proposed financial support. However,
there have been numerous challenges in the implementation of the Paris Agreement which have
come from the non-commitment levels of various partners including the heavy polluters. This
has resulted to lack of substantial achievement of the key recommendations in the entire globe.
As a result, many of the key recommendations have not been achieved while a key participant in
the development of the agreement like United States has pulled out of the agreement (Bodansky,
Role of regions, cities and localities
The Paris Agreement recognized the non-party partners’ roles in addressing global
warming. These included the roles of cities, civil societies, sub-national authorities, and the
private sectors (Bodansky, 2016). Their roles in the development of the Agreement included the
scaling up efforts in support of emission reduction, building a resilient and sustainable energy
sources through investment in research, and promoting and upholding both international and
regional cooperation. They were also expected to support the climate action in reducing the
emissions and through building change impacts. The Paris Agreement also expected to
voluntarily provide support in reducing emissions and encourage the implementation of the
collective goal (Bodansky, 2016).
Shortcomings of Paris Agreement
According to studies, it has been established that a significant strength that was achieved
by the Paris Climate Accord was the near collective global approach in the involvement and
recognition of responsibility (Clémençon, 2016). This was viewed as a positive outcome
compared to the Kyoto Protocol of 1997 which only included industrial countries. The United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992 laid down a wide
spectrum of legal structure as a guideline to global corporation for future agreements. Such an
initiative was not implemented by the Paris Agreement. Instead, Paris Agreement implemented a
worrisome voluntary approach where nations are voluntarily determining their contributions. At
the same time, the Paris Agreement expects many of the achievements on curbing global
warming to be delivered through free market operations (Clémençon, 2016). However, the
market forces and actors on climate change have not yet been commercially technologically
revolutionized. The new model developed by Paris Agreement based on voluntary national
actions has been seen to be serving the interests of heavy polluters such as United States, India,
and China.
According to analysts, it has been found that the agreement has failed to develop a future
timetable for the reduction of actual emission. As a result, the largest polluters have no legal and
moral obligation for collective enforcement of emission reduction initiatives (Clémençon, 2016).
In this situation, the agreement failed to establish an effective legal binding mechanism to
enforce the individual member countries in meeting clearly set targets. Due to these reasons,
environmental experts argue that the success of the Paris Agreement overwhelmingly depends on
good will from world leaders (Clémençon, 2016). Additionally, most of the world leaders who
actively participated by investing their political capital will not be office for long, as such the
interests and commitment to the agreement by some countries may change with changes in their
leadership. Currently, the global system is characterized by both political and economic
uncertainties which make the scope of future action bleak. In addition, there has not been a
specific and clear price tag on carbon a situation markets have not responded positively to and
the entire planet might not be willing or able to pay for (Clémençon, 2016).
The Paris Agreement has adopted the “bottom-up” approach in its implementation
process which is suspicious approach to enable the stakeholders reach a deal. However, it failed
to create mechanism for agreements in situations where countries are directly held responsible
for their actions (Clémençon, 2016). As such, according to environmental experts, the Paris
Agreement is vividly void of clearly actionable commitments. Study findings have shown that
financial investment and emission reductions being the two important factors in the Paris
Agreement, there was lack of clear mathematical targets for the respective countries and no
meaningful mechanism to ensure accountability. The Paris Agreement is widely seen as a
document of good intentions with little actions. For intense, it has been established that the Paris
Agreement approved a new temperature target of 1.5 degrees Celsius without establishing the
mechanism of achieving the target. Additionally, Article 7 on the adaptation of the climate
change does not offer a concrete support on the implementation of the adaptation (Peters et al.,
The Paris Agreement is viewed by some experts as both legally binding on one hand and
on the other hand not legally binding. According to studies, it has been established that the
targets of emission reduction are not legally binding (Peters et al., 2015). At the same time, there
are no specific targets put for the 195 countries, as such every country is expected to set their
own targets of reduction. It does not provide any form of motivation to the implementing
countries thereby making it slow to implement. The agreement did not also provide a clear road
map to the fulfillment of its emission reduction recommendations thereby enabling the individual
countries to remain less committed to its recommendations. According to research analysis, it
has been shown that emission reductions has remained to be a sensitive issue since it requires the
reductions in certain areas of the economy (Peters et al., 2015).
To maintain their economic activity in the midst of emission reduction has proven not
feasible to some countries which have led to the call for withdrawal from the agreement by
countries like the United States (Peters et al., 2015). Due to the economic volatility due to
frequent global economic crunch, most of the developed countries have not been keen in cutting
down on their emissions due to the fear of causing economic stagnation (Peters et al., 2015). The
absence of economic incentives for the implementation of the emission reduction
recommendations is one of the reasons for the slow implementation of the agreement. In order
for increased adaptation to the emission reduction approaches, it is necessary that the frequency
of engagement is increased (Peters et al., 2015). During such meetings the partners will be able
to compare their best practices for comparison and discussion in order to determine those areas
that are implementable and those that are not implementable.
The inception of the Paris Agreement was one of the best courses of actions geared
towards emission reduction for the protection of the planet. The Agreement was a signed by a
total of 195 countries around the globe which was a sign of commitment to the curbing climate
change as a result of the effects that had been seen (Peters et al., 2015). However, the
implementation of the Agreement has been affected by several factors ranging from economic to
political. There have several changes towards the implementation process which hassled to the
decrease of the amounts of positive outcome as was expected. Several scientific studies have
attributed this t the inefficiencies in the agreement and its lack to specify roles developed and
developing countries. The agreement has also lacked to pinpoint the expected outcomes of its
implementations within a given period of time. As such, the agreement has been seen to have
failed to precisely address the issue of emission reduction (Peters et al., 2015).
Rogelj, J., Den Elzen, M., Höhne, N., Fransen, T., Fekete, H., Winkler, H., … & Meinshausen,
M. (2016). Paris Agreement climate proposals need a boost to keep warming well below
2 C. Nature, 534(7609), 631.
Bodansky, D. (2016). The Paris climate change agreement: a new hope?. American Journal of
International Law, 110(2), 288-319.
Clémençon, R. (2016). The two sides of the Paris climate agreement: Dismal failure or historic
Peters, G. P., Andrew, R. M., Solomon, S., & Friedlingstein, P. (2015). Measuring a fair and
ambitious climate agreement using cumulative emissions. Environmental Research
Letters, 10(10), 105004.

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