Sharon Dijksma, Dutch Environment Minister and President of the Council, and Maroé Efsovic, Vice-President of the European Commission, sign the agreement on behalf of the EU at a high-level ceremony in New York, USA. Funding is essential to support emerging economies and support the transition to carbon-free economies. The agreement provides that from 2020, $100 billion in public and private funds will have to be mobilized each year to finance projects that allow countries to adapt to the effects of climate change (sea level rise, droughts, etc.) or to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These funds should be gradually increased and some developing countries will also be able to become donors on a voluntary basis to help the poorest countries. States parties are subject to certain legally binding provisions, such as the requirement for developed countries to provide financial assistance to developing countries to enable them to implement the Agreement. The timely implementation of the EU climate and energy framework by 2030 was seen as an important sign of the EU`s commitment to the goals of the Paris Agreement. Ministers also stressed the importance of swift ratification of the agreement. In response to the climate challenge, the agreement recognizes that states have common but differentiated responsibilities, i.e. according to their national capabilities and specificities.
In the run-up to the Paris climate change conference, the EU presented its planned national contribution (INDC) to the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The EU`s INDC expresses the EU`s commitment to the negotiation process for a new legally binding agreement on climate change to keep global warming below 2oC. It also reaffirmed the binding target of reducing domestic greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990, as indicated by the conclusions of the European Council in October 2014. The Paris Agreement provides a sustainable framework that guides global efforts for decades to come. The aim is to increase countries` climate ambitions over time. To achieve this, the agreement provides for two review processes, each in a five-year cycle. Representatives of the Presidency of the Council and the European Commission have tabled the official ratification documents with the SECRETARy-general of the United Nations, who is the custodian of the agreement. Under the Paris Agreement, each country must define, plan and report regularly on its contribution to the fight against global warming.  There is no mechanism for a country to set an emission target for a specified date, but any target should go beyond the previous targets.
The United States formally withdrew from the agreement the day after the 2020 presidential election, although President-elect Joe Biden said America would return to the agreement after his inauguration.  Unlike the Kyoto Protocol, which set legally binding emission reduction targets (and penalties only for non-compliance) for industrialized countries alone, the Paris Agreement requires all countries – rich, poor, developed and developing – to take their share and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. To this end, the Paris Agreement provides for greater flexibility: commitments that countries should make are not included, countries can voluntarily set their emissions targets and countries will not be penalized if they do not meet their proposed targets.