Air pollution is a worldwide problem that affects the health of millions of people and the environment. Various international agreements have been established to reduce air pollution levels, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement.
The UNFCCC was adopted in 1992 with the goal of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. The Kyoto Protocol, a legally binding agreement under the UNFCCC, was adopted in 1997 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by developed countries. The protocol set targets for reducing emissions by 5.2% below 1990 levels by 2012. Unfortunately, not all countries signed and ratified the protocol, and some that did, such as the United States, did not meet their targets.
The Paris Agreement was adopted in 2015 and is considered a landmark agreement on climate change. It sets a goal of limiting global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The agreement also aims to achieve net-zero emissions in the second half of the century. The Paris Agreement has been signed by 189 countries and ratified by 189, including the United States. However, the US has since withdrawn from the agreement under President Donald Trump.
Apart from these global agreements, regional agreements have also been established to address air pollution. For example, the European Union (EU) has set emissions standards for vehicles and industrial plants, and limits on the use of certain pollutants. In Asia, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has set emissions standards for motor vehicles and has developed a regional action plan on haze pollution.
Overall, these agreements are important steps towards reducing air pollution levels worldwide. However, more needs to be done to ensure that countries meet their targets and that emission standards are adhered to. It is important that individuals, as well as governments and corporations, take responsibility for reducing their carbon footprint and help to protect the environment and public health.