The Paris Agreement is a historic international accord that aims to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2-degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. One of the critical aspects of the Paris Agreement is the differentiation between developed and developing nations. Developed nations are expected to take the lead in reducing carbon emissions, while developing nations are given more flexibility in terms of reducing their emissions.
The reason for this differentiation is rooted in history. Developed nations have been emitting greenhouse gases for more than a century, and they are responsible for most of the carbon dioxide currently in the atmosphere. Developing nations, on the other hand, have contributed only a small fraction of greenhouse gases and are still in the process of industrializing.
Therefore, developed nations have a larger responsibility to reduce their emissions as compared to developing nations. Additionally, developed nations have advanced technology and resources to reduce their emissions, whereas developing nations often lack these resources and may need financial and technical support to achieve their climate goals.
Moreover, the Paris Agreement recognizes the development needs of developing nations. These countries need to prioritize their economic growth to lift their populations out of poverty, and the Agreement acknowledges that this growth may require higher emissions in the short term. Therefore, developing nations are given more flexibility and a longer timeline to reduce their emissions.
Another crucial reason why the Paris Agreement treats developing nations differently is the concept of “common but differentiated responsibilities.” This principle recognizes that all countries should work to reduce emissions, but developed nations have a greater responsibility based on their historical emissions. The principle also acknowledges that developing nations face numerous challenges, including poverty, inequality, and lack of resources, which may hinder their ability to reduce emissions.
In conclusion, the Paris Agreement`s differentiation between developed and developing nations is based on several factors, including historical emissions responsibility, technological and financial capabilities, and development needs. The Agreement recognizes that all countries need to work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but developed nations must take the lead and provide support to developing nations to achieve their climate goals.