Is the Paris Agreement legally binding

What is the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement?

The contracting states meet at regular intervals at the so-called COPs (Conference of the Parties) to agree on how to proceed in climate protection. In 1997 this meeting took place in Kyoto, Japan, at which the "Kyoto Protocol" was adopted as the first document with legally binding limitation and reduction obligations for the ratified industrialized countries. The period of validity was envisaged for the period 2008 to 2012 (1st commitment period) and 2013 to 2020 (2nd commitment period).

In order to be able to maintain the international climate protection process after 2020, there was a need for a new climate agreement. This was adopted at the 2015 COP in Paris as the “Paris Agreement”, which for the first time contained a specific target to limit global warming to well below 2 ° C compared to the pre-industrial level of 1750. To this end, the ratified states set their own reduction targets, with climate protection efforts being revised and strengthened every five years. In October 2016, the usual number of at least 55 ratified states, which are responsible for at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions, was reached, enabling the agreement to come into force.

Sources: IASS Potsdam, Federal Environment Agency Germany, BMU Germany

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