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Happy Paris Agreement Anniversary!

One year ago this week, the Paris Climate Change Agreement, was signed by 195 countries.

It was a tremendous global achievement, with former United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calling it a “monumental triumph for people and our planet.”

Check out this video we made reflecting on what’s been achieved since 2015.


One year ago today, 195 countries came together in Paris and agreed on the first, universally legally binding climate deal.

The objective of this deal was to avoid the devastating effects of climate change. And in the deal, each of the participating countries pledged to reduce their carbon emissions to avoid a two-degree Centigrade temperature change from pre-industrial levels.

This chart we’re showing you now is UN data collated by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. On the chart, on the left-hand side, you can see global greenhouse emissions, and along the bottom, you can see how those emissions have changed over time.

The data that we’re showing you now is the historical data from 1990, and you can see it goes up every year.

Before the Paris agreement, there were pledges and commitments from each of the countries that would take global emissions to 60 Gigatons by 2030.

However, after the talks in Paris, the agreement reduced that output and each of the countries participating pledged to emit 55 Gigatons by 2030.

Which begs the question, what on earth is a Gigatonne? A Gigatonne is a billion tonnes or 10 to the power of 9.

Okay, so that all sounds great. But, if we’re to achieve our 2-degree Celsius target, we would actually need to reduce emissions down to 40 Gigatonnes by 2030, so that’s a significant change from where we are today.

There’s still a lot to do.

As individuals, we can all make a difference. Half of our carbon footprint comes from our homes. The rest comes from travel and the products and services we consume.

In order to reduce your emissions at home, there are three things you can do.

First, you can turn off your appliances. USwitch research suggests that in the UK, we’re overspending by £227m a year, just to have our devices on standby.

The second thing you can do is switch your lightbulbs to LED lightbulbs. LEDs use 20% less energy and last 15 times longer.

And finally, the third thing you can do, (and we would say this) but you can switch your home to renewable energy.

There are 100% renewable suppliers like Bulb, Ecotricity and Good Energy and if you switch to them, you reduce your annual carbon emissions by around 1.5 tonnes which is approximately half of your domestic consumption.

All that, and it takes about three minutes.