The Paris Agreement is the global agreement on climate change adopted by Parties under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on 12 December 2015. It entered into force on 4 November 2016.
The purpose of the Paris Agreement is to:
- keep the global average temperature well below 2° C above pre-industrial levels, while pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5° C
- strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change
- make sure that financial flows support the development of low-carbon and climate-resilient economies.
The Paris Agreement took effect in 2020. This means Aotearoa New Zealand’s commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, our Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), applied from 2021.
New Zealand’s NDC is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
New Zealand's first NDC to the Paris Agreement was submitted in October 2015. An updated NDC was announced on 31 October 2021 on the eve of the 26th Conference of Parties (COP26).
The updated NDC is published on the UNFCCC NDC Registry.
Text of the Paris Agreement [PDF, 183 KB] on the UNFCCC website.
Paris Agreement, together with the National Interest Analysis [Parliamentary website]
Related Cabinet papers
Ratification is a formal step that countries must take to become full participants and to ensure the deal takes effect. New Zealand ratified the Paris Agreement on 4 October 2016 (New York time).
By ratifying the agreement New Zealand commits to having an emissions reduction target and regularly updating it.
Ratification also commits us to:
- continue to regularly report on our emissions and how we’re tracking towards meeting our target
- continue to provide financial support to assist developing countries’ mitigation and adaptation efforts
- plan for adaptation.