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The Paris Agreement: The Impact on the United States and the EU

This client alert describes the impact on the United States and the EU of the Paris Agreement ("Agreement"),1 which was the outcome of the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties ("COP 21") under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change ("UNFCC"). The Agreement represents an affirmation by nearly 200 countries that significant action is needed to address climate change, and embodies a commitment to keep the average rise in temperatures for this century to below 2 degrees Celsius. The Agreement, however, says relatively little about how this goal is to be reached. Each signatory will have to develop its own implementation plan known as a "Nationally Determined Contribution" or "NDC".2 In the US and the EU, the Paris Agreement will be implemented mostly by relying on regulatory initiatives that were underway before the recent meeting in Paris.

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[1] - UNFCCC, Adoption of the Paris Agreement, FCCC/CP/2015/L.9/Rev.1, (Dec. 12, 2015).
[2] - FCCC/CP/2015/L.9/Rev.1 (Dec. 12, 2015) at Art. 4, cl. 9.


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