The EU and its member states are among the nearly 190 parties to the Paris Agreement. The EU formally ratified the agreement on 5 October 2016, allowing it to enter into force on 4 November 2016. In order for the agreement to enter into force, at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions had to file their ratification instruments. It will also enable the contracting parties to gradually strengthen their contributions to the fight against climate change in order to achieve the long-term objectives of the agreement. The agreement recognizes the role of non-partisan stakeholders in the fight against climate change, including cities, other sub-national authorities, civil society, the private sector and others. The Paris Agreement is the first legally binding universal global agreement on climate change adopted at the Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21) in December 2015. To contribute to the goals of the agreement, countries presented comprehensive national climate change plans (national fixed contributions, NDC). These are not yet sufficient to meet the agreed temperature targets, but the agreement points to the way forward for further measures. The Katowice package adopted at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) in December 2018 contains common and detailed rules, procedures and guidelines that affect the Paris agreement in the operation. The EU`s national contribution to the Paris Agreement is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990, as part of its broader climate and energy framework by 2030. All the main EU legislation to achieve this goal has been adopted by the end of 2018. The Paris Agreement establishes a global framework to prevent dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to a level well below 2 degrees Celsius and by making efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
It also aims to strengthen countries` capacity to cope with the effects of climate change and to assist them in their efforts. The Paris Agreement is a bridge between current policy and climate neutrality before the end of the century. The EU has been at the forefront of international efforts to combat climate change. It played an important role in mediating the Paris Agreement and continues to play a leading role at the global level. In addition to formal intergovernmental negotiations, countries, cities and regions, businesses and civil society members around the world are taking steps to accelerate climate cooperation efforts to support the Paris Agreement as part of the Global Climate Agenda. It covers all key areas, including transparency, funding, mitigation and adaptation, and provides and accountable flexibility for parties in need, given their capabilities, while enabling them to implement their commitments in a transparent, comprehensive, comparable and consistent manner.