Under the Paris Agreement, each country must define, plan and report regularly on its contribution to the fight against global warming.  There is no mechanism for a country to set an emission target for a specified date, but any target should go beyond the previous targets. The United States formally withdrew from the agreement the day after the 2020 presidential election, although President-elect Joe Biden said America would return to the agreement after his inauguration.  Work to implement the commitments agreed under the Paris Agreement must continue to include aid to developing countries in order to achieve their goal of mobilizing $100 billion a year by 2020 for actions to combat climate change. The countries most affected by the effects of climate change will be low-lying nations, particularly vulnerable to sea level rise, and developing countries that do not have the resources to adapt to changes in temperature and precipitation. But prosperous nations like the United States are also increasingly vulnerable. In fact, millions of Americans – especially children, the elderly and the poor – are already suffering from the wrath of climate change. «The agreement remains a cornerstone of global efforts to effectively combat climate change and cannot be renegotiated,» EU heads of state and government said. But others provide for the most sensible climate measures outside the Paris agreement. Some experts are calling for the creation of a climate club – an idea advocated by Yale University economist William Nordhaus – that would penalize countries that fail to live up to their commitments or join. Others propose new contracts [PDF] applicable to certain programs or sectors that complement the Paris Agreement. This CFR context compares countries` actions to combat climate change.
The Paris Agreement marks the beginning of a shift towards a low-carbon world – much remains to be done. Implementation of the agreement is essential to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, as it contains a roadmap to combat climate change to reduce emissions and build resilience to climate change. The answer depends on who you ask and how you measure emissions. Since the first climate talks in the 1990s, officials have been debating which countries – developed and developing countries – are most responsible for climate change and should therefore reduce their emissions. At its meeting on 10 November 2015, the ECOFIN Council adopted conclusions on climate finance.