“The United States should stay with the other 189 parties to the agreement and not go out alone.” The Paris Agreement has an “upward” structure unlike most international environmental treaties, which are “top down”, characterized by internationally defined standards and objectives that states must implement.  Unlike its predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol, which sets legal commitment targets, the Paris Agreement, which focuses on consensual training, allows for voluntary and national objectives.  Specific climate targets are therefore politically promoted and not legally binding. Only the processes governing reporting and revision of these objectives are imposed by international law. This structure is particularly noteworthy for the United States – in the absence of legal mitigation or funding objectives, the agreement is seen as an “executive agreement, not a treaty.” Since the 1992 UNFCCC treaty was approved by the Senate, this new agreement does not require further legislation from Congress for it to enter into force.  Instead of reducing emissions and focusing on the cause of climate change, Russia seems to respond to climate-related disasters when they occur. This adaptation strategy could prove prohibitive in the long run, as climate disasters are becoming more frequent on a rapidly warming planet. If all countries followed Russia`s lead, the increase in global temperature could be well in the top 2 degrees Celsius and possibly as high as 4 degrees Celsius. Before the Paris climate talks, President Obama`s negotiators wanted to make sure it would take time for the United States to come to terms with a change of direction. The Paris Agreement establishes a global framework to prevent dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to a level well below 2 degrees Celsius and by making efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It also aims to strengthen countries` capacity to cope with the effects of climate change and to assist them in their efforts. The Katowice package adopted at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP24) in December 2018 contains common and detailed rules, procedures and guidelines that affect the Paris agreement in the operation.
It will serve as an important tool to mobilize technological aid and build the capacity of developing countries. It will also help intensify global efforts to address and minimize losses and damage from climate change. However, it is important to remember that the Paris agreement is not static. Instead, it must strengthen countries` national efforts over time – meaning that current commitments are the terrain, not the ceiling, of climate change ambitions. Labor`s emissions – continuing to reduce emissions by 2030 and 2050 – have yet to be implemented and the agreement provides the instruments to ensure that this happens. Although both the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement intend to combat climate change, there are significant differences between them.