The Paris Agreement (the Paris Agreement)  is an agreement within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that deals with the reduction, adaptation and financing of greenhouse gas emissions and was signed in 2016. The language of the agreement was negotiated by representatives of 196 States Parties at the 21st UNFCCC Conference of parties held at Le Bourget, near Paris, France, and agreed on 12 December 2015.   Since February 2020, all 196 UNFCCC members have signed the agreement and 189 have left.  Of the seven countries that are not parties to the law, Iran and Turkey are the only major emitters. On August 4, 2017, the Trump administration officially announced to the United Nations that the United States intends to withdraw from the Paris Agreement as soon as it is legally entitled to it.  The formal declaration of resignation could not be submitted until after the agreement for the United States came into force on November 4, 2019 for a three-year date.   On November 4, 2019, the U.S. government filed the withdrawal notice with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, custodian of the agreement, and formally withdrew from the Paris Agreement a year later, when the withdrawal came into effect.  After the November 2020 elections, President-elect Joe Biden promised to reinstate the United States in the Paris Agreement for his first day in office and renew the U.S. commitment to climate change mitigation.  Under the Paris Agreement, each country must define, plan and report regularly on its contribution to warming mitigation.
 There is no mechanism for a country to set an emission target for a specified date, but any target should go beyond the previous targets. The United States formally withdrew from the agreement the day after the 2020 presidential election, although President-elect Joe Biden said America would return to the agreement after his inauguration.  Although the agreement has been welcomed by many, including French President Francois Hollande and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, criticism has also emerged. James Hansen, a former NASA scientist and climate change expert, expressed anger that most of the agreement is made up of “promises” or goals, not firm commitments.  He called the Paris talks a fraud with “nothing, only promises” and believed that only a generalized tax on CO2 emissions, which is not part of the Paris agreement, would force CO2 emissions down fast enough to avoid the worst effects of global warming.  In the end, all parties recognized the need to “prevent, minimize and address losses and damages,” but in particular any mention of compensation or liability is excluded.  The Convention also takes up the Warsaw International Loss and Damage Mechanism, an institution that will attempt to answer questions about how to classify, address and co-responsible losses.  Countries are also working to reach “the global peak in greenhouse gas emissions” as soon as possible.