12 December 1800

The Plot of the rue Saint-Nicaise fails to kill Napoleon Bonaparte.

Plot of the rue Saint-Nicaise

The Plot of the Rue Saint-Nicaise, etching

The Plot of the rue Saint-Nicaise, also known as the Machine infernale plot, was an assassination attempt on the life of the First Consul of France, Napoleon Bonaparte, in Paris on 24 December 1800. It followed the conspiration des poignards of 10 October 1800, and was one of many Royalist and Catholic plots.

The name of the Machine Infernale, the "infernal device", was in reference to an episode during the sixteenth-century revolt against Spanish rule in Flanders. In 1585, during the Siege of Antwerp by the Spaniards, an Italian engineer in Spanish service had made an explosive device from a barrel bound with iron hoops, filled with gunpowder, flammable materials and bullets, and set off by a sawed-off shotgun triggered from a distance by a string. The Italian engineer called it la macchina infernale.

The plotters

The machine infernale attempt on Napoleon's life was planned by seven royalist Breton chouans.

  • Pierre Robinault de Saint-Régeant (1768–1801):[1] a supporter of Louis XVIII, Saint-Régeant had tried to stir a revolt in western France the previous year, and had publicly torn up Napoleon's offer of amnesty to the Vendéens.
  • Pierre Picot de Limoëlan (1768–1826): the gentleman son of a guillotined royalist nobleman.
  • Georges Cadoudal (1771–1804): the giant Chouannerie leader.
  • Jean-Baptiste Coster (1771–1804): one of Cadoudal's ablest lieutenants, known as Saint-Victor.
  • The other three plotters were the noblemen Joyaux d’Assas, Jérôme Pétion de Villeneuve, and La Haye-Saint-Hilaire.

Cadoudal had charged Limoëlan and Saint-Régeant with the task of taking Napoleon's life. They in turn enlisted an older Chouan named François-Joseph Carbon (1756–1801), “a stocky man with a fair beard and a scar on his brow,” who had fought in the wars of the Vendée under the rebel leader Louis-Auguste-Victor, Count de Ghaisnes de Bourmont.

The plot

On 26 Frimaire Year IX of the French Republic (December 17, 1800) the chouans Carbon, Limoëlan and Saint-Régeant bought a cart and horse from a Parisian grain dealer named Lamballe. Carbon said he was a peddler who would hold a mare for that purpose. Lamballe sold him the cart and mare for two hundred francs. Carbon and his friends drove it to 19,  [fr], near Saint-Lazare, where they had rented a shed. There they spent 10 days hooping a large wine cask to the cart with ten strong iron rings. The idea was to fill the cask with gunpowder, make a machine infernale and explode it near Napoleon as he drove to a public place like the Opera.

On the first of Nivôse (December 22) Saint-Régeant drove to the Place du Carrousel looking for a placement for the machine infernale. He chose a spot in the  [fr], north of the Tuileries Palace, toward the rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré, where Napoleon had defeated the royalist revolt in 1795, “more or less abreast of what is now the Place du Théâtre Français. The rue de la Loi, (today the Rue de Richelieu), which led to the opera, was almost a continuation of it.” Saint-Régeant decided to place the barrel in the rue St.-Nicaise, toward the rue St.-Honoré, some 20 meters from the Place du Carrousel. One of them would stand watch before the Hôtel de Longueville, at the far side of the square. Thus he would see the carriage when it left the Tuileries, and would be able to signal to the person who, with a long fuse, would ignite the bomb”.[2]

The explosion

The path of Napoléon's carriage during the plot of the rue Saint-Nicaise in Paris (December 24, 1800)
A late 18th-century watercolour of the Comédie-Française

On the late afternoon of 3 Nivôse Year IX of the French Republic (Christmas Eve, December 24, 1800) the plotter Carbon, who had made the machine infernale, harnessed the mare to the cart with the big wine cask and with Limoëlan drove it to the Porte Saint-Denis, on the northern outskirts of Paris. In a deserted building, they loaded the cask with gunpowder.

Then they drove it to the rue Saint-Nicaise, north of the palace. Limoëlan crossed over to the place du Carrousel, whence he could signal his two fellow plotters to light the fuse. Saint-Régeant saw a fourteen-year-old girl named Marianne Peusol, whose mother sold fresh-baked rolls and vegetables in the nearby rue du Bac. He paid her twelve sous to hold the mare for a few minutes. At 8 P.M., thinking his police had caught the plotters against him, a relaxed but tired Napoleon reluctantly drove to the Opéra to attend a performance of Joseph Haydn's oratorio Die Schöpfung ("The Creation"), performed in France for the first time. Bonaparte's carriage was preceded by a cavalry escort from the Garde consulaire. War Minister Berthier, General Lannes, and Colonel Lauriston, Bonaparte's aide-de-camp, rode with the First Consul. From their memoirs, a nineteenth-century French psychologist named Garnier deduced that on his way to the Opéra the exhausted Napoleon fell asleep.

As he slept, Napoleon is said to have had a nightmare reliving his defeat at the Tagliamento River by the Austrians three years earlier. While he had been dreaming, Napoleon's carriage, driven by a drunken man named César, passed the rue Saint-Nicaise and entered the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Limoëlan, standing in the place du Carrousel, panicked and failed to signal Saint-Régeant in the rue Saint-Nicaise, who thus lost a precious minute or two. When the leading grenadiers in Napoleon's guard rode past him, Saint-Régeant lit the fuse and fled.

The machine infernale exploded, killing the teenage girl Peusol while killing and injuring many other innocent bystanders.

Interpretation of Napoleon's dreaming

Sigmund Freud believed that Napoleon was “an extremely sound sleeper” and wrote about this dream.[3] Freud thought that Napoleon had harboured a “fantasy” of the Tagliamento River battle, which was revived by the explosion. To deal with this intruding physical stimulus, the sleeping Napoleon “wove” the sound of the explosion into his dream before waking up. Still dreaming that he was being bombarded by the Austrians, Napoleon woke up crying "Nous sommes minés!" ("We have been mined!"). Freud thought that Napoleon “at last started up with a cry ‘We are undermined!’ ... the First Consul wove the noise of an exploding bomb into a battle dream before he woke up from it ...”.[4] Freud believed that Napoleon’s dream was an “alarm-clock dream” that weaves external stimuli into its structure in order to maintain the dreamer's sleep and prevent him from being disturbed by external noises. “Napoleon could sleep on – with a conviction that what was trying to disturb him was only a dream-memory of the thunder of the guns at Arcole.”

In fact, Napoleon had been dreaming of his Tagliamento River battle in March 1797 rather than of his battle at Arcole in November 1796. The river may have unconsciously symbolized his feelings and the horses his ambitions. Napoleon did not sleep after the explosion: “Bonaparte decided to go ahead immediately, without losing one minute in which the enemy could take advantage to kill him.” Freud admitted that he had two different sources for this dream, Garnier and another source, which “did not agree in their account of it,” but he did not name or cite his other source.[5]

Victims of the blast

Napoleon was badly shaken, but he had escaped the machine infernale blast physically unscathed. When he reached the Opéra he received a standing ovation from the audience. The explosion, however, killed several innocent bystanders. How many is unclear. One scholar believed that “a dozen persons were killed, and twenty-eight were wounded” in the blast. Another thought that “nine innocent people died and twenty-six were injured.” A third scholar wrote that the bomb killed two people and injured six people gravely (and others lightly). The bomb killed the fourteen-year-old girl, Peusol, who had been paid by Saint-Régeant to hold the mare hitched to the cart carrying the bomb, and, of course the old mare. There were also some other medical effects. Napoleon's wife, Josephine, fainted. Her daughter Hortense's hand was lacerated. Napoleon's sister, Caroline Murat, who was in her ninth month of pregnancy, and whose emotional health was less than robust, was severely traumatized. She became anxious and depressed. The son she bore in January 1801, Achille Murat, reportedly suffered from epilepsy. Later Caroline had three more children.[6]

Search for the suspects and punishments

Police informers believed that some extreme-left Jacobins known as "les exclusifs" plotted to kill Napoleon with a machine infernale. On 16 and 17 Brumaire Year IX of the French Republic (November 7–8, 1800) the Paris police arrested the exclusif plotters, including an agitator named Metge and a chemist named Chevalier.

Metge had published a pamphlet entitled Le Turc et le militaire français ("The Turk and the French Military"), comparing Napoleon to the despotic Roman ruler Julius Cæsar, who was killed by Marcus Brutus, and calling for “the birth of thousands of Bruti to stab the tyrant Bonaparte.” Chevalier had experimented with explosives in a hangar and was suspected of making a bomb to dispatch Napoleon; however, the machine infernale that exploded a month later in the rue Saint-Nicaise was not Chevalier's bomb.[7]

Napoleon had apparently convinced himself that the attempt on his life had been made by the extreme-left Jacobin exclusifs. Fouché accused the chouans, but Bonaparte would not listen. He was “deeply shocked and very angry.” He believed that he had done wonders for France and that his would-be assassins were ungrateful. An enraged Napoleon told his Conseil d’état, “For such an atrocious crime we must have vengeance like a thunder-bolt; blood must flow; we must shoot as many guilty men as there have been victims.” Napoleon wanted his “Jacobin enemies” removed from Mother France. Even after the real culprits were apprehended by Fouché's police, Napoleon refused to pardon the innocent ones, insisting that they be deported from France.

130 suspects, hardly any of whom reappeared, were the ransom of the infernal machine. When Fouché held the real culprits, Saint-Rejan and Carbon, when it was known that the attempt of Nivôse was the work of Chouans, it was too late. There was no pardon for the proscribed Jacobins because their proscription had been readily desired. By a subtle precaution they had not been condemned for participation in the affair of the rue Saint-Nicaise, but dealt with under a measure of public safety. Napoleon turned everything to his advantage: public anger, the annihilation of the intransigent Revolutionaries, and the indication that he had implacable enemies among the Royalists. Nor was that all. The very difficulty of making a law to meet special circumstances placed in his hands a ruler's instrument of incomparable convenience. If the deportation of the “remains of Robespierre,” as they were called, might meet with opposition, it was in the two assemblies responsible for the manufacture of laws. The Tribunat was hostile, the Corps Législatif unfriendly.

Talleyrand suggested the idea of appealing to the Senate, a small, docile, tractable, conservative body, whose deliberations had the advantage of not being public. On the grounds that it would “preserve” the Constitution, the Senate was asked to modify it. The system of Sieyès was so perfect that it could even obliterate itself.[8]

On 14 Nivôse Year IX of the French Republic (January 4, 1801) First Consul Bonaparte and his two colleagues Cambacérès and Lebrun exiled 130 Jacobins from France. Their consular decree read: 130 citizens whose names are indicated, suspect of carrying partial responsibility for the terrorist attempt of 3 Nivôse, the explosion of the machine infernale, shall be placed under special surveillance outside the European territory of the Republic. On 15 Nivôse (January 5) the docile Sénat ratified this act by issuing a sénatus-consulte certifying that the consuls’ action preserved the constitution. The 130 unfortunate suspects were deported from France without trial and without the right of appeal. Napoleon increasingly acted as if he had the power to do anything he wished. Two days later, on 17 Nivôse, he named André-François Miot de Mélito [fr], the future comte de Melito, the administrateur général of the two Corsican départements of the Golo and the Liamone, where anti-bonapartiste sentiment was strong and where Bonaparte had suspended constitutional rule. The Christian date was January 7 – Joseph Bonaparte's 33rd birthday.[9]

Working closely with Fouché, Dubois, the police prefect, had his men collect the remnants of the dead mare and of the cart at the scene of the explosion and question all the Paris horse traders. One of them gave the description of the man who had bought her from him. On 18 Nivôse Year IX (January 8, 1801), fifteen days after the explosion in the rue Saint-Nicaise that barely missed Napoleon, Carbon, the man who had made the bomb, was identified by Lamballe – the man who had sold (or rented) the cart to him – as well as by the blacksmith who had shod the mare hitched to the cart. Fouché – who had known the Jacobins’ innocence all along – brought solid proof to Bonaparte that the plotters were the royalist chouans rather than the Jacobin exclusifs. Fouché showed Bonaparte the evidence that the bomb made by the exclusif Chevalier, whom Dubois’ police had accused of having made the machine infernale, was quite different from the bomb that had exploded in the rue Saint-Nicaise.

The police minister, who had plotted with Talleyrand and Clément de Ris to replace Bonaparte, appeared eager to prove his loyalty to the First Consul. Fouché wanted to prove that it was the royalist chouans, not the republican exclusifs, as Napoleon had thought, who had tried to murder his boss. But the First Consul would not listen to his police minister, vowing vengeance against the Jacobins. On 19 Nivôse (January 9) the four conspirateurs des poignards – the Jacobins, Giuseppe Ceracchi, Joseph Antoine Aréna, François Topino-Lebrun and Dominique Demerville – were found guilty of plotting to murder the First Consul and condemned to death. Their desperate protestations of innocence and of being tortured into confessing went unheeded. Napoleon, who had been a fervent Jacobin himself, now turned against his former allies. He still insisted that the Jacobin exclusifs had tried to kill him. “A Royalist attempt would upset his policy of fusion. He refused to believe that; a Jacobin attempt suited him, as conforming to his system of the moment”.[10]

Napoleon turned a deaf ear to Fouché. He would get rid of all those that wished to harm him:

It was a good pretext for annihilating the last remains of the violent factions, but a “purging” like that of Robespierre when he sent the “exagérés” to the guillotine, that of the Convention when they condemned the accomplices of the 1st of Prairial, that of the Directory when they shot Babeuf. At bottom, it was the progressive obliteration of the active Republicans which had made possible the return to order; and there too Bonaparte was carrying on rather than innovating. When their small number had disappeared, no counter-attack from the extreme Jacobins need be feared. There would be Royalist plots, military plots, domestic palace plots. There would be no further Republican conspiracies.[8]

On 21 Nivôse Year IX of the French Republic (January 11, 1801) the unfortunate chemist Chevalier, who had not made the machine infernale, was executed by order of First Consul Bonaparte. On 28 Nivôse (January18), the chouan bomb maker Carbon was arrested. Under torture he gave the names of his fellow plotters, Limoëlan and Saint-Régeant. On 30 Nivôse (January 20), four weeks after the explosion of the machine infernale that missed him, Bonaparte executed the exclusif pamphleteer Metge and two of his friends, even though there was no proof that any of them had been involved in the plot against him.

On 1 Pluviôse Year IX of the French Republic (January 21, 1801) Napoleon named the 44-year-old scientist Jean-Antoine-Claude Chaptal de Chanteloup to the post of France's interior minister. On January 25 Carbon's fellow chouan plotter, Saint-Régeant, was arrested by Napoleon's police. One scholar thought that “Saint-Réjant escaped to the United States and – the least the would-be assassin could do – became a priest.” In fact, Saint-Régeant was executed on 30 Germinal (April 20) at the place de Grève in Paris, where the “regicideRobert-François Damiens had been savagely executed in 1757, and the man who escaped to the US was his fellow conspirator, Limoëlan. He had expressed feeling guilt about the death of the girl, Marianne Peusol, who had held the horse hitched to the cart. Limoëlan was ordained a priest in 1812, and died in 1826.[11]

Napoleon's reaction

In reaction to the attempt on Napoleon's life, 130 prominent Jacobins had been exiled. On 10 Pluviôse Year IX of the French Republic (January 30, 1801) the four “daggers conspirators” – Ceracchi, Aréna, Topino-Lebrun and Demerville – who had been found guilty of plotting to murder the First Consul and condemned to death, were guillotined. Bonaparte had got rid of his remaining Jacobin enemies.

Their deaths, however, did not spell an end to plots against Napoleon. The royalists were still after him, and he saw plotters everywhere, especially in Corsica. The political journalist Roederer claimed that Napoleon told him, “If I die in four or five years, the clock will be wound up and will run. If I die before then, I don’t know what will happen.” One biographer, however, believed that so many Frenchmen needed Bonaparte and feared for his life that their fear made it possible for him to become Emperor of the French within three years.[12]

In popular culture

The attack of the rue Saint-Nicaise was written by G. Lenotre, a historian who wrote mainly about the French Revolution and the Reign of terror.[13]

The rue Saint-Nicaise attack also provides the backdrop of "FOR THE KING" a 2010 historical novel by  [fr][14]

The rue Saint-Nicaise attack was the background of a mission in Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Unity. In the mission, the Assassins help stop the radicals from setting off the device and eliminated gunners that aimed to eliminate Napoleon. François-Joseph Carbon appears as the main plotter behind the assassination attempt, and is eliminated by the Assassins shortly after saving Napoleon from Carbon's men.

Notes

  1. ^ The name of Pierre Robinault de Saint-Régeant (1768-1801)can also be spelled Saint-Régent, Saint-Réjeant, Saint-Réjant, or Saint-Réjan
  2. ^ Castelot 1971, p. 186
  3. ^ Freud 1953, vol. 4, p. 233, and vol. 5, pp. 497-498, 554; Cronin 1971, p. 239
  4. ^ Garnier 1852, new editions, 1865, 1872, vol. 1, p. 476; Freud 1953, vol. 4, pp. 26, 233; Castelot 1967, pp. 543-544; Castelot 1971, p. 187
  5. ^ Freud 1953, vol. 4, pp. 26, 233, 234, n. 1; Castelot 1971, p. 187
  6. ^ Cronin 1971, p. 239; Castelot 1971, p. 187; Tulard 1987, New Edition, 1989, p. 1107
  7. ^ Castelot 1971, p. 185
  8. ^ a b Bainville 1933, p. 128
  9. ^ Tulard 1987, New Edition, 1989, pp. 498-499, 1175
  10. ^ Bainville 1933, p. 128; Castelot 1971, p. 189; Cronin 1971, p. 239
  11. ^ Cronin 1971, p. 240; Tulard 1987, New Edition, 1989, pp. 370, 1077, 1510
  12. ^ Roederer 1853-1859; Roederer 1909; Bainville 1933, pp. 129-130; Brice 1937, p. 111; Cronin 1971, p. 243
  13. ^ Lenotre, G (2005). "Attentat de la rue Saint-Nicaise" (in French). Le droit criminel. ledroitcriminel.free.fr. Retrieved 2006-03-23.
  14. ^ (2010). "For The King" (in English). E. P. Dutton. Retrieved 2010-07-09.

References

  • Roederer, Pierre-Louis (1909) Autour de Bonaparte. Paris: H. Daragon.
  • Clark, Leon Pierce (1929) Napoleon Self-Destroyed. London: Jonathan Cape and Harrsion Smith.
  • Bainville, Jacques (1933) Napoleon. Boston: Little, Brown.
  • Castelot, André (1971) Napoleon. New York: Harper & Row.
  • Cronin, Vincent (1971) Napoleon. London: William Collins.
  • Hall, Bart, Sir John General Pichegru's Treason. New York: E.P. Dutton & Company, Publishers, 1915.
  • Tulard, Jean (1987) Dictionnaire Napoléon. Paris: Fayard.
  • McLynn, Frank (1997) Napoleon: A Biography. London: Jonathan Cape.
  • Falk, Avner (2006) Napoleon Against Himself: A Psychobiography. Charlottesville: Pitchstone.
  • Delors, Catherine (2010). For The King. E.P. Dutton.

External links

  • Holmberg, Tom; Max Sewell (2005). "The Infernal Machine". The Napoleon Series - Research subjects: miscellaneous. www.napoleon-series.org. Retrieved 2006-03-23.

12 December 2015

The Paris Agreement relating to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is adopted.

Paris Agreement

Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
ParisAgreement.svg
  State parties
  Signatories
  Parties covered by EU ratification
Drafted30 November – 12 December 2015 in Le Bourget, France
Signed22 April 2016
LocationNew York City, United States
Sealed12 December 2015
Effective4 November 2016[1][2]
ConditionRatification and accession by 55 UNFCCC parties, accounting for 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions
Signatories195[1]
Parties189[1] (list)
DepositarySecretary-General of the United Nations
LanguagesArabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish
Paris Agreement at Wikisource

The Paris Agreement (French: L'accord de Paris)[3] is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance, signed in 2016. The agreement's language was negotiated by representatives of 196 state parties at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Le Bourget, near Paris, France, and adopted by consensus on 12 December 2015.[4][5] As of February 2020, all UNFCCC members have signed the agreement, 189 have become party to it,[1] and the only significant emitters which are not parties are Iran and Turkey.

The Paris Agreement's long-term temperature goal is to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels; and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 °C, recognizing that this would substantially reduce the risks and impacts of climate change. This should be done by peaking emissions as soon as possible, in order to "achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases" in the second half of the 21st century. It also aims to increase the ability of parties to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change, and make "finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development."

Under the Paris Agreement, each country must determine, plan, and regularly report on the contribution that it undertakes to mitigate global warming.[6] No mechanism forces[7] a country to set a specific emissions target by a specific date,[8] but each target should go beyond previously set targets. In June 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the agreement. Under the agreement, the earliest effective date of withdrawal for the U.S. is November 2020, shortly before the end of President Trump's 2016 term. In practice, changes in United States policy that are contrary to the Paris Agreement have already been put in place.[9][10]

Content

Aims

The aim of the agreement is to decrease global warming described in its Article 2, "enhancing the implementation" of the UNFCCC through:[11]

(a) Holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change;

(b) Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production;

(c) Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.

This strategy involved energy and climate policy including the so-called 20/20/20 targets, namely the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 20%, the increase of renewable energy's market share to 20%, and a 20% increase in energy efficiency.[12]

Countries furthermore aim to reach "global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible". The agreement has been described as an incentive for and driver of fossil fuel divestment.[13][14]

The Paris deal is the world's first comprehensive climate agreement.[15]

Nationally determined contributions

Global carbon dioxide emissions by jurisdiction.

  China (29.4%)
  United States (14.3%)
  European Economic Area (9.8%)
  India (6.8%)
  Russia (4.9%)
  Japan (3.5%)
  Other (31.3%)

Contributions each individual country should make to achieve the worldwide goal are determined by all countries individually and are called nationally determined contributions (NDCs).[6] Article 3 requires them to be "ambitious", "represent a progression over time" and set "with the view to achieving the purpose of this Agreement". The contributions should be reported every five years and are to be registered by the UNFCCC Secretariat.[16] Each further ambition should be more ambitious than the previous one, known as the principle of 'progression'.[17] Countries can cooperate and pool their nationally determined contributions. The Intended Nationally Determined Contributions pledged during the 2015 Climate Change Conference serve—unless provided otherwise—as the initial Nationally determined contribution.

The level of NDCs set by each country[8] will set that country's targets. However the 'contributions' themselves are not binding as a matter of international law, as they lack the specificity, normative character, or obligatory language necessary to create binding norms.[18] Furthermore, there will be no mechanism to force[7] a country to set a target in their NDC by a specific date and no enforcement if a set target in an NDC is not met.[8][19] There will be only a "name and shame" system[20] or as János Pásztor, the U.N. assistant secretary-general on climate change, told CBS News (US), a "name and encourage" plan.[21] As the agreement provides no consequences if countries do not meet their commitments, consensus of this kind is fragile. A trickle of nations exiting the agreement could trigger the withdrawal of more governments, bringing about a total collapse of the agreement.[22]

The NDC Partnership was launched at COP22 in Marrakesh to enhance cooperation so that countries have access to the technical knowledge and financial support they need to achieve large-scale climate and sustainable development targets. The NDC Partnership is guided by a Steering Committee composed of developed and developing nations and international institutions, and facilitated by a Support Unit hosted by World Resources Institute and based in Washington, DC and Bonn, Germany. The NDC Partnership is co-chaired by the governments of Costa Rica and the Netherlands and includes 93 member countries,21 institutional partners and ten associate members.

Effects on global temperature

The negotiators of the agreement, however, stated that the NDCs and the target of no more than 2 °C increase were insufficient; instead, a target of 1.5 °C maximum increase is required, noting "with concern that the estimated aggregate greenhouse gas emission levels in 2025 and 2030 resulting from the intended nationally determined contributions do not fall within least-cost 2 °C scenarios but rather lead to a projected level of 55 gigatonnes in 2030", and recognizing furthermore "that much greater emission reduction efforts will be required in order to hold the increase in the global average temperature to below 2 °C by reducing emissions to 40 gigatonnes or to 1.5 °C."[23]

Though not the sustained temperatures over the long term that the Agreement addresses, in the first half of 2016 average temperatures were about 1.3 °C (2.3 degrees Fahrenheit) above the average in 1880, when global record-keeping began.[24]

When the agreement achieved enough signatures to cross the threshold on 5 October 2016, US President Barack Obama claimed that "Even if we meet every target ... we will only get to part of where we need to go." He also said that "this agreement will help delay or avoid some of the worst consequences of climate change. It will help other nations ratchet down their emissions over time, and set bolder targets as technology advances, all under a strong system of transparency that allows each nation to evaluate the progress of all other nations."[25][26]

Global stocktake

Map of cumulative per capita anthropogenic atmospheric CO2 emissions by country. Cumulative emissions include land use change, and are measured between the years 1950 and 2000.

The global stocktake will kick off with a "facilitative dialogue" in 2018. At this convening, parties will evaluate how their NDCs stack up to the nearer-term goal of peaking global emissions and the long-term goal of achieving net zero emissions by the second half of this century.[27]

The implementation of the agreement by all member countries together will be evaluated every 5 years, with the first evaluation in 2023. The outcome is to be used as input for new nationally determined contributions of member states.[28] The stocktake will not be of contributions/achievements of individual countries but a collective analysis of what has been achieved and what more needs to be done.

The stocktake works as part of the Paris Agreement's effort to create a "ratcheting up" of ambition in emissions cuts. Because analysts agreed in 2014 that the NDCs would not limit rising temperatures below 2 degrees Celsius, the global stocktake reconvenes parties to assess how their new NDCs must evolve so that they continually reflect a country's "highest possible ambition".[27]

While ratcheting up the ambition of NDCs is a major aim of the global stocktake, it assesses efforts beyond mitigation. The 5-year reviews will also evaluate adaptation, climate finance provisions, and technology development and transfer.[27]

Structure

The Paris Agreement has a 'bottom up' structure in contrast to most international environmental law treaties, which are 'top down', characterised by standards and targets set internationally, for states to implement.[29] Unlike its predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol, which sets commitment targets that have legal force, the Paris Agreement, with its emphasis on consensus-building, allows for voluntary and nationally determined targets.[30] The specific climate goals are thus politically encouraged, rather than legally bound. Only the processes governing the reporting and review of these goals are mandated under international law. This structure is especially notable for the United States—because there are no legal mitigation or finance targets, the agreement is considered an "executive agreement rather than a treaty". Because the UNFCCC treaty of 1992 received the consent of the Senate, this new agreement does not require further legislation from Congress for it to take effect.[30]

Another key difference between the Paris Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol is their scopes. While the Kyoto Protocol differentiated between Annex-1 and non-Annex-1 countries, this bifurcation is blurred in the Paris Agreement, as all parties will be required to submit emissions reductions plans.[31] While the Paris Agreement still emphasizes the principle of "Common but Differentiated Responsibility and Respective Capabilities"—the acknowledgement that different nations have different capacities and duties to climate action—it does not provide a specific division between developed and developing nations.[31] It therefore appears that negotiators will have to continue to deal with this issue in future negotiation rounds, even though the discussion on differentiation may take on a new dynamic.[32]

Mitigation provisions and carbon markets

Article 6 has been flagged as containing some of the key provisions of the Paris Agreement.[33] Broadly, it outlines the cooperative approaches that parties can take in achieving their nationally determined carbon emissions reductions. In doing so, it helps establish the Paris Agreement as a framework for a global carbon market.[34]

Linkage of trading systems and international transfer of mitigation outcomes (ITMOs)

Paragraphs 6.2 and 6.3 establish a framework to govern the international transfer of mitigation outcomes (ITMOs). The Agreement recognizes the rights of Parties to use emissions reductions outside of their own jurisdiction toward their NDC, in a system of carbon accounting and trading.[34]

This provision requires the "linkage" of various carbon emissions trading systems—because measured emissions reductions must avoid "double counting", transferred mitigation outcomes must be recorded as a gain of emission units for one party and a reduction of emission units for the other.[33] Because the NDCs, and domestic carbon trading schemes, are heterogeneous, the ITMOs will provide a format for global linkage under the auspices of the UNFCCC.[35] The provision thus also creates a pressure for countries to adopt emissions management systems—if a country wants to use more cost-effective cooperative approaches to achieve their NDCs, they will need to monitor carbon units for their economies.[36]

Sustainable Development Mechanism

Paragraphs 6.4-6.7 establish a mechanism "to contribute to the mitigation of greenhouse gases and support sustainable development".[37] Though there is no specific name for the mechanism as yet, many Parties and observers have informally coalesced around the name "Sustainable Development Mechanism" or "SDM".[38][39] The SDM is considered to be the successor to the Clean Development Mechanism, a flexible mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol, by which parties could collaboratively pursue emissions reductions for their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. The Sustainable Development Mechanism lays the framework for the future of the Clean Development Mechanism post-Kyoto (in 2020).

In its basic aim, the SDM will largely resemble the Clean Development Mechanism, with the dual mission to 1. contribute to global GHG emissions reductions and 2. support sustainable development.[40] Though the structure and processes governing the SDM are not yet determined, certain similarities and differences from the Clean Development Mechanism can already be seen. Notably, the SDM, unlike the Clean Development Mechanism, will be available to all parties as opposed to only Annex-1 parties, making it much wider in scope.[41]

Since the Kyoto Protocol went into force, the Clean Development Mechanism has been criticized for failing to produce either meaningful emissions reductions or sustainable development benefits in most instances.[42] It has also suffered from the low price of Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs), creating less demand for projects. These criticisms have motivated the recommendations of various stakeholders, who have provided through working groups and reports, new elements they hope to see in SDM that will bolster its success.[35] The specifics of the governance structure, project proposal modalities, and overall design were expected to come during the 2016 Conference of the Parties in Marrakesh.

Adaptation provisions

Adaptation issues garnered more focus in the formation of the Paris Agreement. Collective, long-term adaptation goals are included in the Agreement, and countries must report on their adaptation actions, making adaptation a parallel component of the agreement with mitigation.[43] The adaptation goals focus on enhancing adaptive capacity, increasing resilience, and limiting vulnerability.[44]

Ensuring finance

At the Paris Conference in 2015 where the Agreement was negotiated, the developed countries reaffirmed the commitment to mobilize $100 billion a year in climate finance by 2020, and agreed to continue mobilizing finance at the level of $100 billion a year until 2025.[45] The commitment refers to the pre-existing plan to provide US$100 billion a year in aid to developing countries for actions on climate change adaptation and mitigation.[46]

Though both mitigation and adaptation require increased climate financing, adaptation has typically received lower levels of support and has mobilised less action from the private sector.[43] A 2014 report by the OECD found that just 16 percent of global finance was directed toward climate adaptation in 2014.[47] The Paris Agreement called for a balance of climate finance between adaptation and mitigation, and specifically underscoring the need to increase adaptation support for parties most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States. The agreement also reminds parties of the importance of public grants, because adaptation measures receive less investment from the public sector.[43] John Kerry, as Secretary of State, announced that the U.S. would double its grant-based adaptation finance by 2020.[30]

Some specific outcomes of the elevated attention to adaptation financing in Paris include the G7 countries' announcement to provide US$420 million for Climate Risk Insurance, and the launching of a Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems (CREWS) Initiative.[48] In early March 2016, the Obama administration gave a $500 million grant to the "Green Climate Fund" as "the first chunk of a $3 billion commitment made at the Paris climate talks."[49][50][51] So far, the Green Climate Fund has now received over $10 billion in pledges. Notably, the pledges come from developed nations like France, the US, and Japan, but also from developing countries such as Mexico, Indonesia, and Vietnam.[30]

Loss and damage

A new issue that emerged[citation needed] as a focal point in the Paris negotiations rose from the fact that many of the worst effects of climate change will be too severe or come too quickly to be avoided by adaptation measures. The Paris Agreement specifically acknowledges the need to address loss and damage of this kind, and aims to find appropriate responses.[52] It specifies that loss and damage can take various forms—both as immediate impacts from extreme weather events, and slow onset impacts, such as the loss of land to sea-level rise for low-lying islands.[30]

The push to address loss and damage as a distinct issue in the Paris Agreement came from the Alliance of Small Island States and the Least Developed Countries, whose economies and livelihoods are most vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change.[30] Developed countries, however, worried that classifying the issue as one separate and beyond adaptation measures would create yet another climate finance provision, or might imply legal liability for catastrophic climate events.

In the end, all parties acknowledged the need for "averting, minimizing, and addressing loss and damage" but notably, any mention of compensation or liability is excluded.[11] The agreement also adopts the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage, an institution that will attempt to address questions about how to classify, address, and share responsibility for loss.[52]

Enhanced transparency framework

While each Party's NDC is not legally binding, the Parties are legally bound to have their progress tracked by technical expert review to assess achievement toward the NDC, and to determine ways to strengthen ambition.[53] Article 13 of the Paris Agreement articulates an "enhanced transparency framework for action and support" that establishes harmonized monitoring, reporting, and verification (MRV) requirements. Thus, both developed and developing nations must report every two years on their mitigation efforts, and all parties will be subject to both technical and peer review.[53]

Flexibility mechanisms

While the enhanced transparency framework is universal, along with the global stocktaking to occur every 5 years, the framework is meant to provide "built-in flexibility" to distinguish between developed and developing countries' capacities. In conjunction with this, the Paris Agreement has provisions for an enhanced framework for capacity building.[54] The agreement recognizes the varying circumstances of some countries, and specifically notes that the technical expert review for each country consider that country's specific capacity for reporting.[54] The agreement also develops a Capacity-Building Initiative for Transparency to assist developing countries in building the necessary institutions and processes for complying with the transparency framework.[54]

There are several ways that flexibility mechanisms can be incorporated into the enhanced transparency framework. The scope, level of detail, or frequency of reporting may all be adjusted and tiered based on a country's capacity. The requirement for in-country technical reviews could be lifted for some less developed or small island developing countries. Ways to assess capacity include financial and human resources in a country necessary for NDC review.[54]

Adoption

Paris Agreement negotiations

The Paris Agreement was opened for signature on 22 April 2016 (Earth Day) at a ceremony in New York.[55] After several European Union states ratified the agreement in October 2016, there were enough countries that had ratified the agreement that produce enough of the world's greenhouse gases for the agreement to enter into force.[56] The agreement went into effect on 4 November 2016.[2]

Negotiations

Within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, legal instruments may be adopted to reach the goals of the convention. For the period from 2008 to 2012, greenhouse gas reduction measures were agreed in the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. The scope of the protocol was extended until 2020 with the Doha Amendment to that protocol in 2012.[57]

During the 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference, the Durban Platform (and the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action) was established with the aim to negotiate a legal instrument governing climate change mitigation measures from 2020. The resulting agreement was to be adopted in 2015.[58]

Adoption

Heads of delegations at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

At the conclusion of COP 21 (the 21st meeting of the Conference of the Parties, which guides the Conference), on 12 December 2015, the final wording of the Paris Agreement was adopted by consensus by all of the 195 UNFCCC participating member states and the European Union[4] to reduce emissions as part of the method for reducing greenhouse gas. In the 12-page Agreement,[51] the members promised to reduce their carbon output "as soon as possible" and to do their best to keep global warming "to well below 2 °C" [3.6 °F].[59]

Signature and entry into force

Signing by John Kerry in United Nations General Assembly Hall for the United States

The Paris Agreement was open for signature by states and regional economic integration organizations that are parties to the UNFCCC (the Convention) from 22 April 2016 to 21 April 2017 at the UN Headquarters in New York.[60]

The agreement stated that it would enter into force (and thus become fully effective) only if 55 countries that produce at least 55% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions (according to a list produced in 2015)[61] ratify, accept, approve or accede to the agreement.[62][63] On 1 April 2016, the United States and China, which together represent almost 40% of global emissions, issued a joint statement confirming that both countries would sign the Paris Climate Agreement.[64][65] 175 Parties (174 states and the European Union) signed the agreement on the first date it was open for signature.[55][66] On the same day, more than 20 countries issued a statement of their intent to join as soon as possible with a view to joining in 2016. With ratification by the European Union, the Agreement obtained enough parties to enter into effect as of 4 November 2016.

European Union and its member states

Both the EU and its member states are individually responsible for ratifying the Paris Agreement. A strong preference was reported that the EU and its 28 member states deposit their instruments of ratification at the same time to ensure that neither the EU nor its member states engage themselves to fulfilling obligations that strictly belong to the other,[67] and there were fears that disagreement over each individual member state's share of the EU-wide reduction target, as well as Britain's vote to leave the EU might delay the Paris pact.[68] However, the European Parliament approved ratification of the Paris Agreement on 4 October 2016,[56] and the EU deposited its instruments of ratification on 5 October 2016, along with several individual EU member states.[68]

Implementation

The process of translating the Paris Agreement into national agendas and implementation has started. One example is the commitment of the least developed countries (LDCs). The LDC Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Initiative for Sustainable Development, known as LDC REEEI, is set to bring sustainable, clean energy to millions of energy-starved people in LDCs, facilitating improved energy access, the creation of jobs and contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.[69]

Per analysis from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) a carbon "budget" based upon total carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere (versus the rate of annual emission) to limit global warming to 1.5 °C was estimated to be 2.25 trillion tonnes of overall emitted carbon dioxide from the period since 1870. This number is a notable increase from the number estimated by the original Paris Climate accord estimates (of around 2 trillion tonnes total) total carbon emission limit to meet the 1.5 °C global warming target, a target that would be met in the year 2020 at 2017 rates of emission. Additionally, the annual emission of carbon is estimated in 2017 to be at 40 billion tonnes emitted per year. The revised IPCC budget for this was based upon CMIP5 climate model. Estimate models using different base-years also provide other slightly adjusted estimates of a carbon "budget".[70]

Parties and signatories

As of February 2020, 194 states and the European Union have signed the Agreement. 188 states and the EU, representing more than 87% of global greenhouse gas emissions, have ratified or acceded to the Agreement, including China, the United States and India, the countries with three of the four largest greenhouse gas emissions of the UNFCCC members total (about 42% together).[1][71][72] As of January 2020 the only countries with over 1% share of global emissions which have not ratified, and so are not parties, are Iran and Turkey.

Withdrawal from Agreement

Article 28 of the agreement enables parties to withdraw from the agreement after sending a withdrawal notification to the depositary, but notice can be given no earlier than three years after the agreement goes into force for the country. Withdrawal is effective one year after the depositary is notified. Alternatively, the Agreement stipulates that withdrawal from the UNFCCC, under which the Paris Agreement was adopted, would also withdraw the state from the Paris Agreement. The conditions for withdrawal from the UNFCCC are the same as for the Paris Agreement. The agreement does not specify provisions for non-compliance.

On 4 August 2017, the Trump administration delivered an official notice to the United Nations that the U.S. intends to withdraw from the Paris Agreement as soon as it is legally eligible to do so.[73] The formal notice of withdrawal could not be submitted until the agreement was in force for 3 years for the US, on 4 November 2019.[74][75] On 4 November the US government deposited the withdrawal notification with the Secretary General of the United Nations, the depositary of the agreement.[76]

National communication

A "National Communication" is a type of report submitted by the countries that have ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).[77] Countries listed in Annex I of the Convention (mostly industrialized countries) are obliged to submit regular National Communications.[78] Non-Annex I countries do so less frequently.[79] Some Least Developed Countries have not submitted National Communications in the past 5–15 years,[80] largle due to capacity constraints.

National Communication reports are often several hundred pages long and cover a country's measures to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions as well as a description of its vulnerabilities and impacts from climate change.[81] National Communications are prepared according to guidelines that have been agreed by the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC. The (Intended) Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that form the basis of the Paris Agreement are shorter and less detailed but also follow a standardized structure and are subject to technical review by experts.

Although President Donald Trump has declared that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Agreement, this cannot be effectuated until the day after the 2020 presidential election in the United States. Since the United States has not declared an intention to also withdraw from the 1992 UNFCCC, the United States will continue to be obliged to prepare National Communications.

Criticism

Effectiveness

Global CO2 emissions and probabilistic temperature outcomes of Paris
Paris climate accord emission reduction targets and real-life reductions offered

A pair of studies in Nature have said that, as of 2017, none of the major industrialized nations were implementing the policies they had envisioned and have not met their pledged emission reduction targets,[82] and even if they had, the sum of all member pledges (as of 2016) would not keep global temperature rise "well below 2 °C".[83][84]

How well each individual country is on track to achieving its Paris agreement commitments can be continuously followed on-line (through the Climate Action Tracker[85] and the Climate Clock).

A 2018 published study points at a threshold at which temperatures could rise to 4 or 5 degrees compared to the pre-industrial levels, through self-reinforcing feedbacks in the climate system, suggesting this threshold is below the 2-degree temperature target, agreed upon by the Paris climate deal. Study author Katherine Richardson stresses, "We note that the Earth has never in its history had a quasi-stable state that is around 2 °C warmer than the pre-industrial and suggest that there is substantial risk that the system, itself, will 'want' to continue warming because of all of these other processes – even if we stop emissions. This implies not only reducing emissions but much more."[86]

At the same time, another 2018 published study notes that even at a 1.5 °C level of warming, important increases in the occurrence of high river flows would be expected in India, South and Southeast Asia.[87] Yet, the same study points out that under a 2.0 °C of warming various areas in South America, central Africa, western Europe, and the Mississippi area in the United States would see more high flows; thus increasing flood risks.

Lack of binding enforcement mechanism

Although the agreement was lauded by many, including French President François Hollande and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon,[63] criticism has also surfaced. For example, James Hansen, a former NASA scientist and a climate change expert, voiced anger that most of the agreement consists of "promises" or aims and not firm commitments.[88] He called the Paris talks a fraud with 'no action, just promises' and feels that only an across the board tax on CO
2
emissions, something not part of the Paris Agreement, would force CO
2
emissions down fast enough to avoid the worst effects of global warming.[88]

Institutional asset owners associations and think-tanks have also observed that the stated objectives of the Paris Agreement are implicitly "predicated upon an assumption – that member states of the United Nations, including high polluters such as China, the US, India, Russia, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Indonesia and Mexico, which generate more than half the world's greenhouse gas emissions, will somehow drive down their carbon pollution voluntarily and assiduously without any binding enforcement mechanism to measure and control CO
2
emissions at any level from factory to state, and without any specific penalty gradation or fiscal pressure (for example a carbon tax) to discourage bad behaviour."[89] Emissions taxes (such as a carbon tax) can be integrated into the country's NDC however.

UNEP

According to United Nations Environment Programme UNEP if we rely only on the current climate commitments of the Paris Agreement, temperatures will likely rise to 3.2 °C this century. To limit global temperature rise to 1.5 °C, emissions must be below 25 gigatons (Gt) by 2030. With current Nov 2019 commitments, emissions will be 56 Gt CO2e by 2030, twice the environmental target. To limit global temperature rise to 1.5 °C, the global annual emission reduction needed is 7.6% emissions reduction every year between 2020 and 2030. The top four emitters (China, USA, EU27 and India) contribute to over 55% of the total emissions over the last decade, excluding emissions from land-use change such as deforestation. China's emissions grew 1.6% in 2018 to reach a high of 13.7 Gt of CO2 equivalent. The US emits 13% of global emissions and emissions rose 2.5% in 2018. The EU emits 8.5% of global emissions has declined 1% per year across the last decade. Emissions declined 1.3% in 2018. India's 7% of global emissions grew 5.5% in 2018. Emissions per capita is one of the lowest within the G20.[90]

See also

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Further reading

External links

Media related to Paris Agreement at Wikimedia Commons

12 December 1911

Delhi replaces Calcutta as the capital of India.

New Delhi is an urban district of Delhi which serves as the capital of India and seat of all three branches of the Government of India.

The foundation stone of the city was laid by Emperor George V during the Delhi Durbar of 1911. It was designed by British architects, Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker. The new capital was inaugurated on 13 February 1931, by Viceroy and Governor-General of India Lord Irwin.

Although colloquially Delhi and New Delhi are used interchangeably to refer to the National Capital Territory of Delhi, these are two distinct entities, with New Delhi forming a small part of Delhi. The National Capital Region is a much larger entity comprising the entire NCT along with adjoining districts in neighboring states.

Calcutta was the capital of India during the British Raj, until December 1911. Calcutta had become the centre of the nationalist movements since the late nineteenth century, which led to the Partition of Bengal by then Viceroy of British India, Lord Curzon. This created massive political and religious upsurge including political assassinations of British officials in Calcutta. The anti-colonial sentiments amongst the public led to complete boycott of British goods, which forced the colonial government to reunite Bengal and immediately shift the capital to New Delhi.

Old Delhi had served as the political and financial centre of several empires of ancient India and the Delhi Sultanate, most notably of the Mughal Empire from 1649 to 1857. During the early 1900s, a proposal was made to the British administration to shift the capital of the British Indian Empire, as India was officially named, from Calcutta on the east coast, to Delhi. The Government of British India felt that it would be logistically easier to administer India from Delhi, which is in the centre of northern India. The land for building the new city of Delhi was acquired under the Land Acquisition Act 1894.

During the Delhi Durbar on 12 December 1911, George V, then Emperor of India, along with Queen Mary, his consort, made the announcement that the capital of the Raj was to be shifted from Calcutta to Delhi, while laying the foundation stone for the Viceroy’s residence in the Coronation Park, Kingsway Camp. The foundation stone of New Delhi was laid by King George V and Queen Mary at the site of Delhi Durbar of 1911 at Kingsway Camp on 15 December 1911, during their imperial visit.

Large parts of New Delhi were planned by Edwin Lutyens, who first visited Delhi in 1912, and Herbert Baker, both leading 20th-century British architects. The contract was given to Sobha Singh. The original plan called for its construction in Tughlaqabad, inside the Tughlaqabad fort, but this was given up because of the Delhi-Calcutta trunk line that passed through the fort. Construction really began after World War I and was completed by 1931. The city that was later dubbed “Lutyens’ Delhi” was inaugurated in ceremonies beginning on 10 February 1931 by Lord Irwin, the Viceroy. Lutyens designed the central administrative area of the city as a testament to Britain’s imperial aspirations.

The 1931 postage stamp series celebrated the inauguration of New Delhi as the seat of government. The one rupee stamp shows George V with the “Secretariat Building” and Dominion Columns.
Soon Lutyens started considering other places. Indeed, the Delhi Town Planning Committee, set up to plan the new imperial capital, with George Swinton as chairman, and John A. Brodie and Lutyens as members, submitted reports for both North and South sites. However, it was rejected by the Viceroy when the cost of acquiring the necessary properties was found to be too high. The central axis of New Delhi, which today faces east at India Gate, was previously meant to be a north-south axis linking the Viceroy’s House at one end with Paharganj at the other. Eventually, owing to space constraints and the presence of a large number of heritage sites in the North side, the committee settled on the South site. A site atop the Raisina Hill, formerly Raisina Village, a Meo village, was chosen for the Rashtrapati Bhawan, then known as the Viceroy’s House. The reason for this choice was that the hill lay directly opposite the Dinapanah citadel, which was also considered the site of Indraprastha, the ancient region of Delhi. Subsequently, the foundation stone was shifted from the site of Delhi Durbar of 1911–1912, where the Coronation Pillar stood, and embedded in the walls of the forecourt of the Secretariat. The Rajpath, also known as King’s Way, stretched from the India Gate to the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The Secretariat building, the two blocks of which flank the Rashtrapati Bhawan and houses ministries of the Government of India, and the Parliament House, both designed by Baker, are located at the Sansad Marg and run parallel to the Rajpath.

In the south, land up to Safdarjung’s Tomb was acquired to create what is today known as Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone. Before construction could begin on the rocky ridge of Raisina Hill, a circular railway line around the Council House, called the Imperial Delhi Railway, was built to transport construction material and workers for the next twenty years. The last stumbling block was the Agra-Delhi railway line that cut right through the site earmarked for the hexagonal All-India War Memorial and Kingsway, which was a problem because the Old Delhi Railway Station served the entire city at that time. The line was shifted to run along the Yamuna river, and it began operating in 1924. The New Delhi Railway Station opened in 1926, with a single platform at Ajmeri Gate near Paharganj, and was completed in time for the city’s inauguration in 1931. As construction of the Viceroy’s House, Central Secretariat, Parliament House, and All-India War Memorial was winding down, the building of a shopping district and a new plaza, Connaught Place, began in 1929, and was completed by 1933. Named after Prince Arthur, 1st Duke of Connaught, it was designed by Robert Tor Russell, chief architect to the Public Works Department.

After the capital of India moved to Delhi, a temporary secretariat building was constructed in a few months in 1912 in North Delhi. Most of the government offices of the new capital moved here from the ‘Old secretariat’ in Old Delhi, a decade before the new capital was inaugurated in 1931. Many employees were brought into the new capital from distant parts of India, including the Bengal Presidency and Madras Presidency. Subsequently, housing for them was developed around Gole Market area in the 1920s. Built in the 1940s, to house government employees, with bungalows for senior officials in the nearby Lodhi Estate area, Lodhi colony near historic Lodhi Gardens, was the last residential areas built by the British Raj.

12 December 1911

Delhi replaces Calcutta as the capital of India.

New Delhi is the capital of India and one of Delhi city’s 11 districts. Although colloquially Delhi and New Delhi are used interchangeably to refer to the National Capital Territory of Delhi, these are two distinct entities, with New Delhi forming a small part of Delhi. The National Capital Region is a much larger entity comprising the entire National Capital Territory of Delhi along with adjoining districts. It is surrounded by Haryana on three sides and Uttar Pradesh on the east.

The foundation stone of the city was laid by George V, Emperor of India during the Delhi Durbar of 1911. It was designed by British architects, Sir Edwin Lutyens and Sir Herbert Baker. The new capital was inaugurated on 13 February 1931, by Viceroy and Governor-General of India Lord Irwin.

New Delhi has been selected as one of the hundred Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi’s flagship Smart Cities Mission.

Lord Curzon and Lady Curzon arriving at the Delhi Durbar, 1903.

The Delhi Durbar of 1911, with King George V and Queen Mary seated upon the dais.
Calcutta (now Kolkata) was the capital of India during the British Raj until December 1911.

Delhi had served as the political and financial centre of several empires of ancient India and the Delhi Sultanate, most notably of the Mughal Empire from 1649 to 1857. During the early 1900s, a proposal was made to the British administration to shift the capital of the British Indian Empire, as India was officially named, from Calcutta on the east coast, to Delhi. The Government of British India felt that it would be logistically easier to administer India from Delhi in the centre of northern India.

The land for building the new city of Delhi was acquired under the Land Acquisition Act 1894.

On 12 December 1911, during the Delhi Durbar, George V, then Emperor of India, along with Queen Mary, his Consort, made the announcement that the capital of the Raj was to be shifted from Calcutta to Delhi, while laying the foundation stone for the Viceroy’s residence in the Coronation Park, Kingsway Camp. The foundation stone of New Delhi was laid by King George V and Queen Mary at the site of Delhi Durbar of 1911 at Kingsway Camp on 15 December 1911, during their imperial visit. Large parts of New Delhi were planned by Edwin Lutyens, who first visited Delhi in 1912, and Herbert Baker, both leading 20th-century British architects. The contract was given to Sobha Singh. The original plan called for its construction in Tughlaqabad, inside the Tughlaqabad fort, but this was given up because of the Delhi-Calcutta trunk line that passed through the fort. Construction really began after World War I and was completed by 1931. The city that was later dubbed “Lutyens’ Delhi” was inaugurated in ceremonies beginning on 10 February 1931 by Lord Irwin, the Viceroy. Lutyens designed the central administrative area of the city as a testament to Britain’s imperial aspirations.

The 1931 series celebrated the inauguration of New Delhi as the seat of government. The one rupee stamp shows George V with the “Secretariat Building” and Dominion Columns. Soon Lutyens started considering other places. Indeed, the Delhi Town Planning Committee, set up to plan the new imperial capital, with George Swinton as chairman and John A. Brodie and Lutyens as members, submitted reports for both North and South sites. However, it was rejected by the Viceroy when the cost of acquiring the necessary properties was found to be too high. The central axis of New Delhi, which today faces east at India Gate, was previously meant to be a north-south axis linking the Viceroy’s House at one end with Paharganj at the other. During the project’s early years, many tourists believed it was a gate from Earth to Heaven itself. Eventually, owing to space constraints and the presence of a large number of heritage sites in the North side, the committee settled on the South site. A site atop the Raisina Hill, formerly Raisina Village, a Meo village, was chosen for the Rashtrapati Bhawan, then known as the Viceroy’s House. The reason for this choice was that the hill lay directly opposite the Dinapanah citadel, which was also considered the site of Indraprastha, the ancient region of Delhi. Subsequently, the foundation stone was shifted from the site of Delhi Durbar of 1911–1912, where the Coronation Pillar stood, and embedded in the walls of the forecourt of the Secretariat. The Rajpath, also known as King’s Way, stretched from the India Gate to the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The Secretariat building, the two blocks of which flank the Rashtrapati Bhawan and houses ministries of the Government of India, and the Parliament House, both designed by Baker, are located at the Sansad Marg and run parallel to the Rajpath.

In the south, land up to Safdarjung’s Tomb was acquired to create what is today known as Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone. Before construction could begin on the rocky ridge of Raisina Hill, a circular railway line around the Council House, called the Imperial Delhi Railway, was built to transport construction material and workers for the next twenty years. The last stumbling block was the Agra-Delhi railway line that cut right through the site earmarked for the hexagonal All-India War Memorial and Kingsway, which was a problem because the Old Delhi Railway Station served the entire city at that time. The line was shifted to run along the Yamuna river, and it began operating in 1924. The New Delhi Railway Station opened in 1926 with a single platform at Ajmeri Gate near Paharganj and was completed in time for the city’s inauguration in 1931. As construction of the Viceroy’s House, Central Secretariat, Parliament House, and All-India War Memorial was winding down, the building of a shopping district and a new plaza, Connaught Place, began in 1929, and was completed by 1933. Named after Prince Arthur, 1st Duke of Connaught, it was designed by Robert Tor Russell, chief architect to the Public Works Department.

After the capital of India moved to Delhi, a temporary secretariat building was constructed in a few months in 1912 in North Delhi. Most of the government offices of the new capital moved here from the ‘Old secretariat’ in Old Delhi, a decade before the new capital was inaugurated in 1931. Many employees were brought into the new capital from distant parts of India, including the Bengal Presidency and Madras Presidency. Subsequently, housing for them was developed around Gole Market area in the 1920s. Built in the 1940s, to house government employees, with bungalows for senior officials in the nearby Lodhi Estate area, Lodhi colony near historic Lodhi Gardens, was the last residential areas built by the British Raj.

12 December 1935

A Nazi reproduction program (Lebensborn Project) is started by Heinrich Himmler.

The Lebensborn project was one of most secret and terrifying Nazi projects. Heinrich Himmler founded the Lebensborn project on December 12, 1935, the same year the Nuremberg Laws outlawed intermarriage with Jews and others who were deemed inferior. For decades, Germany’s birthrate was decreasing. Himmler’s goal was to reverse the decline and increase the Germanic/Nordic population of Germany to 120 million. Himmler encouraged SS and Wermacht officers to have children with Aryan women. He believed Lebensborn children would grow up to lead a Nazi-Aryan nation.

The purpose of this society was to offer to young girls who were deemed “racially pure” the possibility to give birth to a child in secret. The child was then given to the SS organization which took charge in the child’s education and adoption. Both mother and father needed to pass a “racial purity” test. Blond hair and blue eyes were preferred, and family lineage had to be traced back at least three generations. Of all the women who applied, only 40 percent passed the racial purity test and were granted admission to the Lebensborn program.