The need to take care of the earth and its natural resources has been a very hot topic for the past few years. With the majority of scientists in the world agreeing that we are experiencing an accelerated global warming due to all the man-made pollution, the need for governments and countries to take the necessary steps needed to remedy the problem has become evident.
Over the years, the international community has come together and formed certain agreements and treaties in an effort to reduce pollution and protect the environment. Here are a few important treaties that made, and continue to make, a difference including the most recent COP21.
The Ramsar Convention On Wetlands
Several nations met in 1971 in the city of Ramsar, Iran, and signed a treaty in an effort to conserve and protect wetland resources.
The Convention On Biological Diversity
Created by members of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the treaty is meant to preserve the global biodiversity by creating a protocol to safely transport genetically modified organisms.
The Convention On International Trade In Endangered Species (CITES)
Since its founding in the 1960s, CITES is one of the biggest international agreements regarding the protection of the environment.
United Nations Agreements
Originally put together after World War II to prevent further war on a global scale, this international organization includes members from almost every country in the world, and has played a big part in some of the some of the most vital agreements and treaties concerning the environment. Some of those include the Montreal Protocol, the Kyoto Protocol, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Framework Convention on Climate Change reached a historic treaty known as the Paris Agreement. Over 150 nations have come to several agreements that they must all commit to, including:
- Setting a goal of limiting the increase of the global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
- All countries must regularly report their emissions and the progress they’ve made in reaching their goals.
- All countries need to pursue domestic action in order to make “nationally determined contributions” (NDC).
- Once every 5 years, all countries will need to create new NDC’s in an effort to continue progress over the previous one.
- For the first time, developing countries are expected to voluntarily contribute.
- A commitment of $100 billion a year to help developing countries improve greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.