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Five years of the Paris Agreement: putting plans into action

To achieve climate targets and respond to climate change, GIZ is taking action worldwide and bringing together a wide array of partners.

In December 2015, global climate policy was given a new binding framework in the form of the Paris Agreement. As of today, 188 countries have ratified the agreement, thereby committing themselves to the goal of keeping global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius. 

For the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, five years on, the Paris Agreement continues to be the most important guideline for its work on climate change mitigation. The agreement identifies as top priorities the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the urgent need to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Around one third of GIZ’s project portfolio in the public-benefit business area works to achieve one of these two goals. 

To achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, the countries have pledged to develop and implement national climate action plans (Nationally Determined Contributions, NDCs). GIZ is currently advising some 100 countries on ensuring this implementation through specific laws, regulations, directives and incentive systems. Under the leadership of the German Development Ministry (BMZ) and the German Environment Ministry (BMU), a global partnership for implementing the NDCs was set up in 2016. Some 72 countries and 15 organisations joined the network. GIZ plays a key role in setting up a secretariat and in the actual work with the countries. To this end, GIZ draws on its expertise in various sectors, such as transportation, energy and agriculture, and advises the countries on developing ambitious strategies for the relevant sectors. It also provides opportunities for dialogue among the countries.

A further key element of the Paris Agreement is private sector participation. In the agreement, companies are also called on to contribute to limiting global warming. Against this backdrop, BMZ established the Development and Climate Alliance. GIZ actively supports the development of a platform, which now counts around 800 supporters. GIZ connects companies with climate protection projects in developing countries and emerging economies to offset emissions that have been generated. In 2019 alone, members offset 2.5 million tonnes of CO2, which corresponds to the annual emissions generated by 300,000 EU citizens.

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