Paris agreement comes into force in UK

The world's first global agreement on climate change comes into force in the UK on November 4. What does it sign us up to?

The deal was signed in April earlier this year by around 170 countries including the UK, and it was then ratified by their respective parliaments.

Many countries have scheduled for the agreement, which took two decades to agree, to come into force in November.

  • What have the countries agreed to?

The first and most important is that the agreement binds countries to work to limit temperature rises to "well below" 2C above pre-industrial levels.

Additionally, nations should attempt to limit any increase to 1.5C, which climate change-affected countries say is necessary to ensure their survival.

The latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned emissions would have to come down by between 40% to 70% for the 2C goal and 70% to 95% for the 1.5C goal by 2050.

Countries that lack the resources to meet the criteria will be given financial assistance, with developed countries contributing £100 billion until 2025.

Each country must also submit climate change plans which are then reviewed every five years and updated if necessary.

  • What have governments proposed so far?

The pledges put forward so far in a bid to cut emissions would not work to cut temperatures by enough to meet the agreement's requirements.

A report by the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep) said that the proposals would see temperatures rise by 3C above pre-industrial levels, far above the 2C agreed in Paris.

At least a quarter must be cut from emissions by the end of the next decade compared to current trends, the UN said.

Next week, world leaders will meet in Morocco to discuss how to put the agreement into force and meet its aims.