An important directive in the agreement is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels this century, while taking steps to limit them to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It also provides developed countries with the opportunity to help developing countries and provides a framework for transparent monitoring and communication of countries` climate goals. President Trump is pulling us out of the Paris climate agreement. The 2010 Cancun Agreements provide for voluntary commitments from 76 industrialized and developing countries to control their greenhouse gas emissions. [145] In 2010, these 76 countries were collectively responsible for 85% of annual global emissions. [145] [146] Although the agreement has been welcomed by many, including French President Francois Hollande and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon,[67] 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. [98] 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. [98] An extreme example of how measures to reduce CO2 emissions in developing countries are cheaper is the case of existing fossil fuel subsidies, particularly for coal, which is the most carbon-rich form of fuel. The abolition of these subsidies would create significant immediate benefits – fiscal, economic and ecological – even before they have benefits under a global climate change agreement. Coal, for example, provides most of the energy in China. One of the main reasons for this high use of coal is that it has been heavily subsidized in the past. Coal subsidies outside the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) are estimated to have amounted between 1991 and 1992 to between $37 billion and $51 billion.

Overall, fossil fuel subsidies were much higher – in the early 1990s, it was well over $200 billion, although they are smaller today. A 1994 study estimated that their remoteness would reduce global emissions by 7%. A 1995 study estimated that energy subsidies are currently a negative CO2 tax of about $40 per tonne and that global carbon dioxide emissions would be reduced by 4 to 5 per cent if all energy subsidies were eliminated. For each of the different anthropogenic greenhouse gases, different emission reductions would be needed to achieve the goal of stabilizing atmospheric concentrations (see the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and Stabilization of Greenhouse Gas Concentrations). [27] Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the main anthropogenic ThG. [28] Stabilizing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere would ultimately require the effective elimination of anthropogenic CO2 emissions. [27] These rules of transparency and accountability are similar to those set out in other international agreements. Although the system does not include financial sanctions, the requirements are intended to easily monitor the progress of individual nations and promote a sense of overall group pressure, discouraging any towing of feet among countries that might consider it.