The Paris Agreement on climate change was adopted on 12 December 2015, following the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in the French capital.
The document was signed by 175 countries, including Russia.
The agreement for the first time in history combined the efforts of all world powers to combat climate change.
It replaced the existing Kyoto Protocol of 1997, which established greenhouse gas emission quotas for only a few developed countries, but the United States withdrew from this agreement and a number of other countries failed to fulfil it.
The document came into force on 4 November 2016.
The agreement aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change through keeping the increase in global average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels, which will significantly reduce risks and impacts of climate change; increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and promoting low greenhouse gas emissions development in a way that does not endanger food production; and bringing financial flows towards a development characterized by low emissions and resistance to climate change.
The Paris Agreement stipulates that specific measures to combat climate change should be aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, with their development and implementation being the sole responsibility of national governments.
The agreement consolidates and formalizes the turn to a new, low-carbon model of economic development based on the gradual abandonment of traditional technologies for the extraction, processing and use of fossil resources.
States should work towards cutting emissions by 2020.
It is planned that the obligations of participating countries will be updated every five years, starting from 2022.
The Paris Agreement, unlike the Kyoto Protocol, does not provide for a quota mechanism. There are no sanctions for countries that are unable to fulfil national contributions. The agreement merely approves the creation of an incentive mechanism that should encourage states and economic entities to successfully reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Financial support will be provided to developing countries to implement programs arresting global warming. The total public and private finance provided and mobilized by developed countries for developing countries should reach $100 billion by 2020.
Currently, 197 countries are parties to the Paris Agreement, 185 of which have ratified it.
In August 2017, the United States notified the United Nations of its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. The exit process will take three years.