Unlike the Kyoto Protocol, which set legally binding emission reduction targets (as well as penalties for non-compliance) only for industrialized countries, the Paris Agreement requires all countries – rich, poor, developed and developing – to take their share and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. To this end, the Paris Agreement provides for greater flexibility: commitments that countries should make are not included, countries can voluntarily set their emissions targets and countries will not be penalized if they do not meet their proposed targets. But what the Paris agreement requires is to monitor, report and reassess, over time, the objectives of individual and collective countries, in order to bring the world closer to the broader objectives of the agreement. And the agreement stipulates that countries must announce their next round of targets every five years, contrary to the Kyoto Protocol, which was aimed at this target but which contained no specific requirements to achieve this goal. The 1997 Kyoto Protocol contained emission reduction or limit targets for Schedule I countries, but not for non-Schedule I countries. The protocol therefore only cemented the centre of gravity of mitigation and reinforced the dichotomy. How each country is on track to meet its obligations under the Paris Agreement can be constantly monitored online (via the Climate Action Tracker  and the climate clock). The West African country is the only other country on track to reduce its CO2 production up 1.5 degrees Celsius. According to Climate Action Tracker, it is one of the only developing countries in the world that has put in place a plan that would “fold its emissions into a downward trend.” An important part of this plan is a massive reforestation project that involves planting trees to stop erosion and environmental degradation.
Since Trump`s announcement, U.S. envoys – as well as on behalf – have continued to participate in U.N. climate negotiations to shore up the details of the agreement. Meanwhile, thousands of heads of state and government have intervened across the country to fill the void created by the lack of federal climate leadership, reflecting the will of the vast majority of Americans who support the Paris agreement. City and state officials, business leaders, universities and individuals included a base amount to participate in initiatives such as America`s Pledge, the United States Climate Alliance, We Are Still In and the American Cities Climate Challenge. Complementary and sometimes overlapping movements aim to deepen and accelerate efforts to combat climate change at the local, regional and national levels. Each of these efforts focuses on the willingness of the United States to work toward the goals of the Paris Agreement, despite Trump`s attempts to lead the country in the opposite direction. The authors of the agreement have set a withdrawal period that President Trump must follow – which prevents him from irreparably harming our climate. The inconsistency between the subtle differentiation of the Paris Agreement and the self-differentiation of the NDCs could at least lead countries to refuse to make their NDPs more ambitious because they consider the CNN of other countries to be less ambitious (see Grieco et al., 1993; Mearsheimer, 1994).
This in turn could lead to negotiation difficulties ahead of the CNN update by 2020 and beyond. In the worst case scenario, this could jeopardize the ambition mechanism of the Paris Agreement: if countries are cautious or reluctant to increase their ambitions over time, it is more likely that the long-term goals of the Paris agreement will not be achieved.