Recognizing that many developing countries and small island developing states that have contributed the least to climate change are most likely to suffer the consequences, the Paris Agreement contains a plan for developed countries – and others that are able to do so – to continue to provide financial resources to help developing countries reduce and increase their capacity to withstand climate change. The agreement builds on the financial commitments of the 2009 Copenhagen Accord, which aimed to increase public and private climate finance to developing countries to $100 billion per year by 2020. (To put it in perspective, in 2017 alone, global military spending amounted to about $1.7 trillion, more than a third of which came from the United States. The Copenhagen Pact also created the Green Climate Fund to mobilize transformation funding with targeted public dollars. The Paris agreement expected the world to set a higher annual target by 2025 to build on the $100 billion target by 2020 and create mechanisms to achieve this. The 32-part document sets out a framework for global action on climate change, including climate change mitigation and adaptation, support for developing countries and transparency of reporting, and strengthening climate change goals. The Paris Agreement is the first legally binding universal global agreement on climate change adopted at the Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21) in December 2015. President Obama was able to formally enshrine the United States in the agreement through executive measures because he did not impose new legal obligations on the country. The United States already has a number of instruments on the books, under laws already passed by Congress to reduce carbon pollution. The country officially joined the agreement in September 2016, after submitting its request for participation. The Paris Agreement was only able to enter into force after the formal accession of at least 55 nations representing at least 55% of global emissions. This happened on October 5, 2016 and the agreement came into force 30 days later, on November 4, 2016.

The EU and its member states are among the nearly 190 parties to the Paris Agreement. The EU formally ratified the agreement on 5 October 2016, allowing it to enter into force on 4 November 2016. In order for the agreement to enter into force, at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions had to file their ratification instruments. The initial commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol was extended until 2012. This year, at COP18 in Doha, Qatar, delegates agreed to extend the agreement until 2020 (without some industrialized countries withdrawing). They also reaffirmed their commitment made at COP17 in Durban, South Africa, in 2011, to create a new global climate treaty by 2015 that would require all major emitters not included in the Kyoto Protocol, such as China, India and the United States, to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The new treaty – which was to become the Paris Agreement – was to completely replace the Kyoto Protocol by 2020. However, the Paris agreement came into force earlier than expected in November 2016. Negotiators of the agreement stated that the INDCs presented at the time of the Paris conference were insufficient and found that « the estimates of aggregate greenhouse gas emissions in 2025 and 2030 resulting from the planned contributions at the national level are not covered by the least expensive scenarios of 2oC, but lead to a projected level of 55 gigatons in 2030. » and acknowledges that « much greater efforts to reduce emissions will be required to keep the increase in the global average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius, by reducing emissions to 40 gigatonnes or 1.5 degrees Celsius. » [25] [Clarification needed] The goal of the 1.5-C Paris Agreement is to strengthen Cancun`s 2-degree target.