Key facts about the Paris agreement

A look at the Paris agreement, as the Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Energy Minister Angus Taylor assure voters Australia will meet its targets.

* WHAT IS THE PARIS AGREEMENT?

It’s a global pact agreed to in Paris in 2015 to limit warming of the planet to “well below” two degrees Celsius compared with the Industrial Revolution. It also allows aims for an even more ambitious goal of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

* WHO IS INVOLVED?

There are 197 nations in the agreement and 180 have ratified it. Syria and Nicaragua were the last to sign up, in late 2017.

* WHERE DOES AUSTRALIA FIT IN?

Australia ratified the agreement in November 2016, setting a local target of reducing emissions by 26 to 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.

The government’s National Energy Guarantee proposed to legislate emissions reduction targets, but this aspect of the policy is likely to be dumped in favour of an energy plan focused on reliability.

* IS THE US STILL PART OF THE AGREEMENT?

US President Donald Trump informed the UN last year America would withdraw from the agreement, but was open to re-entering on improved financial terms. The lengthy withdrawal process means it will be 2020 before the US is officially out of the deal.

* WHAT’S NEXT?

Australia signed a declaration at the Pacific Islands Forum this month saying climate change presented “the single greatest threat to the livelihood, security and well-being of Pacific people” and underscored the need for “immediate urgent action”.

The climate arm of the UN is this week holding a conference in Thailand, where countries are working to implement and develop guidelines for the agreement.

A crucial conference is set for this December in Poland, with the aim of finalising and enacting the guidelines. The guidelines include how emission reduction targets can be accounted for, greater transparency and climate finance.

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