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. 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. 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. Some countries have already responded to an invitation from the Conference of the Parties (COP) to communicate mid-century strategies, with 2050 being considered a reference year. Most of these countries have translated their long-term vision into a target as a percentage reduction, which, in Germany`s case, is to fall to 95% below the 1990 level by 2050. This quantified objective is certainly not a binding law, but it allows Germany to monitor the neutrality of emissions step by step and beyond its political cycles. It encourages different segments of government to continuously seek emission reduction options, now and in the future, in the hope that each of them can take the necessary steps to achieve this 95% reduction. The temperature target reflects above all a vision of society that we want for the future. One of the objectives is to design our economic system so that the improvement of our quality of life is not hindered by the negative effects on our climate. In the light of science, this vision implies a major transformation. This forces us to rethink how we produce, use and use energy; how we produce and build; and how we manage our land and ecosystems. If net global greenhouse gas emissions are to reach zero by the end of this century, we must ensure that our energy and production systems are neutral in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, so that there is at least a balance between human-caused greenhouse gas emissions and the elimination of emissions from our country and healthy natural ecosystems. 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.