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The Paris Agreement 2019

Unlike the Kyoto Protocol, which set legally binding emission reduction targets (as well as penalties for non-compliance) only for industrialized countries, 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. But what the Paris agreement requires is to monitor, report and reassess, over time, the objectives of individual and collective countries, in order to bring the world closer to the broader objectives of the agreement. And the agreement stipulates that countries must announce their next round of targets every five years, contrary to the Kyoto Protocol, which was aimed at this target but which contained no specific requirements to achieve this goal. InDCs become CNDs – nationally determined contributions – as soon as a country formally adheres to the agreement. There are no specific requirements as to how or how many countries should reduce emissions, but there were political expectations about the nature and rigour of the targets set by different countries. As a result, the scale and ambition of national plans vary widely, largely reflecting each country`s capacity, level of development and contribution to emissions over time. China, for example, has committed to cleaning up its CO2 emissions by 2030 at the latest and reducing CO2 emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 60-65% by 2030 from 2005 levels. India has set a target of reducing emissions intensity by 33-35% from 2005 levels by 2030 and producing 40% of its electricity from non-fossil fuels. Both of these issues need to be the subject of a political approach. If self-differentiation is compatible with subtle differentiation, the CBDR-RC compromise of the Paris Agreement would be put in place and the NDCs would be able to play their role as key vessels in the implementation of the Paris Agreement. That is why we recommend that developed countries include in their NdSC their project to assist developing countries in the implementation of NPNPs (Pauw et al.

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