The deal unites all the world's nations in a single agreement on tackling climate change for the first time in history.
The main aim is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2.0 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Additionally, the agreement aims to strengthen the ability to deal with the impacts of climate change. To reach these goals, “financial flows will be put in place making stronger action by developing countries and the most vulnerable possible, in line with their own national objectives.”
Countries will submit updated climate plans – called nationally determined contributions (NDCs) – every five years, thereby increasing their ambition in the long-term.
Magnus Hall, President and CEO of Vattenfall, says:
“We applaud the agreement and its high-level of ambition. It is really an enormous encouragement to all, including Vattenfall, to steer the transition towards cleaner energy even faster. Both carbon markets and non-market approaches will now be needed to make it happen and I think it is very good that the agreement also recognises and promotes international cooperation in both areas.”
The Paris Agreement will be deposited at the UN in New York and be opened for one year for signature on 22 April 2016 - Mother Earth Day.
Ingrid Bonde, CFO at Vattenfall, states:
“Beyond the political agreement, there is clear evidence now that stakeholders around the world are ready to speed-up climate action efforts even before the agreement will enter into force in 2020. The political framework is also the enabler for the financial system. This agreement clearly sets the financial community on a green pathway which in turn will give the energy sector a big push.”
Even though the agreement has been hailed as historic and “the best chance we have to save the one planet that we’ve got” with the words of American President Obama, it has also been criticized. Several scientists have pointed out the Paris accord must be stepped up if it is to have any chance of curbing climate change.
Kumi Naidoo, international executive director of Greenpeace, said:
“The wheel of climate action turns slowly, but in Paris it has turned. There’s much in this deal that frustrates and disappoints me, but it still puts the fossil fuel industry squarely on the wrong side of history. This deal won’t dig us out the hole we’re in, but it makes the sides less steep.”
The Paris agreement