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
  State parties
  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
Parties187[1] (list)
DepositarySecretary-General of the United Nations
LanguagesArabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish and Afrikaans
Paris Agreement at Wikisource

The Paris Agreement (French: 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 November 2019, 195 UNFCCC members have signed the agreement, and 187 have become party to it.[1]

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]



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.

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]


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]


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]


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]


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]


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 2019, 194 states and the European Union have signed the Agreement. 186 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]

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.



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] According to UNEP the emission cut targets in November 2016 will result in temperature rise by 3 °C above pre-industrial levels, far above the 2 °C of the Paris climate agreement.[85]

In addition, an MIT News article written on 22 April 2016 discussed recent MIT studies on the true impact that the Paris Agreement had on global temperature increase. Using their Integrated Global System Modeling (IGSM) to predict temperature increase results in 2100, they used a wide range of scenarios that included no effort towards climate change past 2030, and full extension of the Paris Agreement past 2030. They concluded that the Paris Agreement would cause temperature decrease by about 0.6 to 1.1 degrees Celsius compared to a no-effort-scenario, with only a 0.1 °C change in 2050 for all scenarios. They concluded that, although beneficial, there was strong evidence that the goal provided by the Paris Agreement could not be met in the future; under all scenarios, warming would be at least 3.0 °C by 2100.[86]

How well each individual country is on track to achieving its Paris agreement commitments can be continuously followed on-line.[87]

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."[88]

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.[89] 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.[90] He called the Paris talks a fraud with 'no action, just promises' and feels that only an across the board tax on CO
emissions, something not part of the Paris Agreement, would force CO
emissions down fast enough to avoid the worst effects of global warming.[90]

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
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."[91] Emissions taxes (such as a carbon tax) can be integrated into the country's NDC however.


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, EU28 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.[92]

See also


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Further reading

External links

Media related to Paris Agreement at Wikimedia Commons

29 October 2015

China announces the end of One child policy after 35 years.

One-child policy

One-child policy
A Chinese mother and son at a market in Jiayuguan, Gansu
Alternative Chinese name
Simplified Chinese独生子女政策
Traditional Chinese獨生子女政策

China's one-child policy was part of a birth planning program designed to control the size of its rapidly growing population.[1] Distinct from the family planning policies of most other countries (which focus on providing contraceptive options to help women have the number of children they want), it set a limit on the number of births parents could have, the world's most extreme example of population planning. It was introduced in 1979 (after a decade-long two-child policy),[2] modified beginning in the mid 1980s to allow rural parents a second child if the first was a daughter, and then lasted three more decades before being eliminated at the end of 2015. When this policy was first introduced 6.1 million families that had already given birth to a child were given the "One Child Honorary Certificates." This was a pledge they had to make to ensure they would not have more children.[3] The policy also allowed exceptions for some other groups, including ethnic minorities. Therefore, the term "one-child policy" is a misnomer, because for nearly 30 of the 36 years that it existed (1979–2015), about half of all parents in China were allowed to have a second child.[4][5][6]

To enforce existing birth limits (of one or two children), provincial governments could, and did, require the use of contraception, sterilizations and abortions to ensure compliance, and imposed enormous fines for violations. Local and national governments created commissions to promote the program and monitor compliance. China also rewarded families with only one child. From 1982 onwards, in accordance with the instructions on further family planning issued by the CPC central committee and the state council in that year, regulations awarded 5 yuan per month for families with one child. Parents who had only one child would also get a "one-child glory certificate".[7]

According to China's government, 400 million births were prevented. Originally, this estimate referred to the full birth program starting from 1970, although more recently the numbers have been attributed to one-child restrictions since 1980. Several scholars have disputed the official claim, contending that the one-child program had little effect on birth rates or the size of the total population when one considers the large drop in fertility in the two-child decade preceding it.[8][9][10] China has been compared to countries such as Thailand, along with the Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, which experienced similar declines of fertility without a one-child policy.[11] Another study takes such arguments even further based on a model which implies that the one-child program, contrary to popular belief and its government's intentions, had a pronatal effect that raised birth rates above what they otherwise would have been.[12] Yet this latter study has itself been disputed as an implausible "erasure of the impact of this program from history.[13] Moreover, the comparative models proposed by those dismissing official estimates as exaggerations [12][9] imply that China's birth planning since 1970 has already averted between 600 and 700 million births, a number projected to grow to one billion or more by 2060 given the averted descendants of the births originally averted by policy.[14][15][16][13] The real dispute concerns what portion of these total averted births (and population) are due to China's tightened one-child program as opposed to the two-child program that preceded it.

Although 76% of Chinese people said that they supported the policy in a 2008 survey, it was controversial outside of China.[17]. Effective from January 2016, the national birth planning policy became a universal two-child policy that allowed each couple to have two children.

China's population since 1950


Birth rate in China

During the period of Mao Zedong's leadership in China, the birth rate fell from 37 per thousand to 20 per thousand.[18] Infant mortality declined from 227 per thousand births in 1949 to 53 per thousand in 1981, and life expectancy dramatically increased from around 35 years in 1948 to 66 years in 1976.[18][19] Until the 1960s, the government encouraged families to have as many children as possible[20] because of Mao's belief that population growth empowered the country, preventing the emergence of family planning programs earlier in China's development.[21] The population grew from around 540 million in 1949 to 940 million in 1976.[22] Beginning in 1970, citizens were required to marry at later ages and many were limited to have only two children.[2]

Although China's fertility rate plummeted faster than anywhere else in the world during the 1970s under these restrictions, the Chinese government thought that fertility was still too high, influenced by the global debate over a possible overpopulation catastrophe suggested by organizations such as Club of Rome and Sierra Club. It thus began to encourage one-child families in 1978, and then announced in 1979 its intention to advocate for one-child families. In 1980, the central government organized a meeting in Chengdu to discuss the speed and scope of one-child restrictions.[2]

One participant at the Chengdu meeting had read two influential books about population concerns, The Limits to Growth and A Blueprint for Survival while visiting Europe in 1979. That official, Song Jian, along with several associates, determined that the ideal population of China was 700 million, and that a universal one-child policy for all would be required to meet that goal.[23] Moreover, Song and his group showed that if fertility rates remained constant at 3 births per woman, China's population would surpass 3 billion by 2060 and 4 billion by 2080.[2] In spite of some criticism inside the party, the plan (also referred to as the Family Planning Policy[24]) was formally implemented as a temporary measure on 18 September 1980.[25][26][27][28] The plan called for families to have one child each in order to curb a then-surging population and alleviate social, economic, and environmental problems in China.[29][30]

Although a recent and often-repeated interpretation by Greenhalgh claims that Song Jian was the central architect of the one-child policy and that he "hijacked" the population policymaking process,[31] that claim has been refuted by several leading scholars, including Liang Zhongtang, a leading internal critic of one-child restrictions and an eye-witness at the discussions in Chengdu.[32] In the words of Wang et al., "the idea of the one-child policy came from leaders within the Party, not from scientists who offered evidence to support it”[8] Central officials had already decided in 1979 to advocate for one-child restrictions before knowing of Song's work and, upon learning of his work in 1980, already seemed sympathetic to his position.[33] Moreover, even if Song's work convinced them to proceed with universal one-child restrictions in 1980, the policy was loosened to a "1.5"-child policy just five years later, and it is that policy which has been misrepresented since as the "one-child policy." Thus, it is misleading to suggest that Song Jian was either the inventor or architect of the policy.


The one-child policy was originally designed to be a "One-Generation Policy".[34] It was enforced at the provincial level and enforcement varied; some provinces had more relaxed restrictions. The one-child limit was most strictly enforced in densely populated urban areas.[35]

Beginning in 1980, the official policy granted local officials the flexibility to make exceptions and allow second children in the case of "practical difficulties" (such as cases in which the father was a disabled serviceman) or when both parents were single children,[36] and some provinces had other exemptions worked into their policies as well. In most areas, families were allowed to apply to have a second child if their first-born was a daughter.[37][38] Furthermore, families with children with disabilities have different policies and families whose first child suffers from physical disability, mental illness, or intellectual disability were allowed to have more children.[39] However, second children were sometimes subject to birth spacing (usually 3 or 4 years). Children born in overseas countries were not counted under the policy if they did not obtain Chinese citizenship. Chinese citizens returning from abroad were allowed to have a second child.[40] Sichuan province allowed exemptions for couples of certain backgrounds.[41] By one estimate there were at least 22 ways in which parents could qualify for exceptions to the law towards the end of the one-child policy's existence.[42] As of 2007, only 36% of the population were subjected to a strict one-child limit. 53% were permitted to have a second child if their first was a daughter; 9.6% of Chinese couples were permitted two children regardless of their gender; and 1.6% – mainly Tibetans – had no limit at all.[43]

The Danshan, Sichuan Province Nongchang Village people Public Affairs Bulletin Board in September 2005 noted that RMB 25,000 in social compensation fees were owed in 2005. Thus far 11,500 RMB had been collected, so another 13,500 RMB had to be collected.

Following the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, a new exception to the regulations was announced in Sichuan for parents who had lost children in the earthquake.[44][45] Similar exceptions had previously been made for parents of severely disabled or deceased children.[46] People have also tried to evade the policy by giving birth to a second child in Hong Kong, but at least for Guangdong residents, the one-child policy was also enforced if the birth was given in Hong Kong or abroad.[47]

In accordance with China's affirmative action policies towards ethnic minorities, all non-Han ethnic groups are subjected to different laws and were usually allowed to have two children in urban areas, and three or four in rural areas. Han Chinese living in rural towns were also permitted to have two children.[48] Because of couples such as these, as well as who simply pay a fine (or "social maintenance fee") to have more children,[49] the overall fertility rate of mainland China was close to 1.4 children per woman as of 2011.[50]

On 6 January 2010, the former national population and family planning commission issued the "national population development" 12th five-year plan.[51]


Chinese One-Child Policy propaganda from 1982


The Family Planning Policy was enforced through a financial penalty in the form of the "social child-raising fee", sometimes called a "family planning fine" in the West, which was collected as a fraction of either the annual disposable income of city dwellers or of the annual cash income of peasants, in the year of the child's birth.[52] For instance, in Guangdong, the fee was between 3 and 6 annual incomes for incomes below the per capita income of the district, plus 1 to 2 times the annual income exceeding the average. The family was required to pay the fine.[53]

Mandatory contraception and sterilization

As part of the policy, women were required to have a contraceptive intrauterine device (IUD) surgically installed after having a first child, and to be sterilized by tubal ligation after having a second child. From 1980 to 2014, 324 million Chinese women were fitted with IUDs in this way and 108 million were sterilized. Women who refused these procedures – which many resented – could lose their government employment and their children could lose access to education or health services. The IUDs installed in this way were modified such that they could not be removed manually, but only through surgery.

In 2016, following the abolition of the one-child policy, the Chinese government announced that IUD removals would now be paid for by the government.[54]


In 2013, Deputy Director Wang Peian of the National Health and Family Planning Commission said that "China's population will not grow substantially in the short term".[55] A survey by the commission found that only about half of eligible couples wish to have two children, mostly because of the cost of living impact of a second child.[56]

In November 2013, following the Third Plenum of the 18th Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party, China announced the decision to relax the one-child policy. Under the new policy, families could have two children if one parent, rather than both parents, was an only child.[57][58] This mainly applied to urban couples, since there were very few rural only children due to long-standing exceptions to the policy for rural couples.[59] Zhejiang, one of the most affluent provinces, became the first area to implement this "relaxed policy" in January 2014,[60] and 29 out of the 31 provinces had implemented it by July 2014,[61] with the exceptions of Xinjiang and Tibet. Under this policy, approximately 11 million couples in China are allowed to have a second child; however, only "nearly one million" couples applied to have a second child in 2014,[62] less than half the expected number of 2 million per year.[61] By May 2014, 241,000 out of 271,000 applications had been approved. Officials of China's National Health and Family Planning Commission claimed that this outcome was expected, and that "second-child policy" would continue progressing with a good start.[63]


In October 2015, the Chinese news agency Xinhua announced plans of the government to abolish the one-child policy, now allowing all families to have two children, citing from a communiqué issued by the Communist Party "to improve the balanced development of population" – an apparent reference to the country's female-to-male sex ratio – and to deal with an aging population according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.[29][64][65][66][67][68][69][70] The new law took effect on 1 January 2016 after it was passed in the standing committee of the National People's Congress on 27 December 2015.[71][72]

The rationale for the abolition was summarized by former Wall Street Journal reporter Mei Fong: "The reason China is doing this right now is because they have too many men, too many old people, and too few young people. They have this huge crushing demographic crisis as a result of the one-child policy. And if people don't start having more children, they're going to have a vastly diminished workforce to support a huge aging population."[73] China's ratio is about five working adults to one retiree; the huge retiree community must be supported, and that will dampen future growth, according to Fong.

Since the citizens of China are living longer and having fewer children, the growth of the population imbalance is expected to continue, as reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation which referred to a United Nations projections forecast that "China will lose 67 million working-age people by 2030, while simultaneously doubling the number of elderly. That could put immense pressure on the economy and government resources."[29] The longer term outlook is also pessimistic, based on an estimate by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, revealed by Cai Fang, deputy director. "By 2050, one-third of the country will be aged 60 years or older, and there will be fewer workers supporting each retired person."[74]

Although many critics of China's reproductive restrictions approve of the policy's abolition, Amnesty International said that the move to the two-child policy would not end forced sterilizations, forced abortions, or government control over birth permits.[75][76] Others also stated that the abolition is not a sign of the relaxation of authoritarian control in China. A reporter for CNN said, "It was not a sign that the party will suddenly start respecting personal freedoms more than it has in the past. No, this is a case of the party adjusting policy to conditions. ... The new policy, raising the limit to two children per couple, preserves the state's role."[77][78]

The abolition may not achieve a significant benefit, as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation analysis indicated: "Repealing the one-child policy may not spur a huge baby boom, however, in part because fertility rates are believed to be declining even without the policy's enforcement. Previous easings of the one-child policy have spurred fewer births than expected, and many people among China's younger generations see smaller family sizes as ideal."[29] The CNN reporter adds that China's new prosperity is also a factor in the declining[74] birth rate, saying, "Couples naturally decide to have fewer children as they move from the fields into the cities, become more educated, and when women establish careers outside the home."[77]

The Chinese government had expected the abolishing of the one-child rule would lead to an increase in births to about 21.9 million births in 2018. The actual number of births was 15.2 million - the lowest birth rate since 1961.[79]


The one-child policy was managed by the National Population and Family Planning Commission under the central government since 1981. The Ministry of Health of the People's Republic of China and the National Health and Family Planning Commission were made defunct and a new single agency National Health and Family Planning Commission took over national health and family planning policies in 2013. The agency reports to the State Council.

The policy was enforced at the provincial level through fines that were imposed based on the income of the family and other factors. "Population and Family Planning Commissions" existed at every level of government to raise awareness and carry out registration and inspection work.[80]


Fertility reduction: Debates over the roles of policy vs. socio-economic change

The progression of China's population pyramid, International Futures.

The fertility rate in China continued its fall from 2.8 births per woman in 1979 (already a sharp reduction from more than five births per woman in the early 1970s) to 1.5 by the mid 1990s. Some scholars claim that this decline is similar to that observed in other places that had no one-child restrictions, such as Thailand as well as Indian states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, a claim designed to support the argument that China's fertility might have fallen to such levels anyway without draconian fertility restrictions.[8][81][11][82]

According to a 2017 study in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, "the one-child policy accelerated the already-occurring drop in fertility for a few years, but in the longer term, economic development played a more fundamental role in leading to and maintaining China's low fertility level.".[83] However, a more recent study found that China's fertility decline to very low levels by the mid 1990s was far more impressive given its lower level of socio-economic development at that time;[16] even after taking rapid economic development into account, China's fertility restrictions likely averted over 500 million births between 1970 and 2015, with the portion caused by one-child restrictions possibly totaling 400 million.[14] Fertility restrictions also had other unintended consequences, such as a deficit of 40 million female babies. Most of this deficit was due to sex-selective abortion as well as the 1.5 child stopping rule, which required rural parents to stop childbearing if their first born was a son.[84] Another consequence was the acceleration of the aging of China's population.[85][86]

Disparity in sex ratio at birth

The sex ratio at birth in People's Republic of China, males per 100 females, 1980–2010.

The sex ratio of a newborn infant (between male and female births) in mainland China reached 117:100, and stabilized between 2000 and 2013, about 10% higher than the baseline, which ranges between 103:100 and 107:100. It had risen from 108:100 in 1981—at the boundary of the natural baseline—to 111:100 in 1990.[87] According to a report by the National Population and Family Planning Commission, there will be 30 million more men than women in 2020, potentially leading to social instability, and courtship-motivated emigration.[88]

The disparity in the gender ratio at birth increases dramatically after the first birth, for which the ratios remained steadily within the natural baseline over the 20 year interval between 1980 and 1999. Thus, a large majority of couples appear to accept the outcome of the first pregnancy, whether it is a boy or a girl. If the first child is a girl, and they are able to have a second child, then a couple may take extraordinary steps to assure that the second child is a boy. If a couple already has two or more boys, the sex ratio of higher parity births swings decidedly in a feminine direction. This demographic evidence indicates that while families highly value having male offspring, a secondary norm of having a girl or having some balance in the sexes of children often comes into play. Zeng 1993 reported a study based on the 1990 census in which they found sex ratios of just 65 or 70 boys per 100 girls for births in families that already had two or more boys.[89] A study by Anderson & Silver (1995) found a similar pattern among both Han and non-Han nationalities in Xinjiang Province: a strong preference for girls in high parity births in families that had already borne two or more boys.[90] This tendency to favour girls in high parity births to couples who had already borne sons was later also noted by Coale and Banister, who suggested as well that once a couple had achieved its goal for the number of males, it was also much more likely to engage in "stopping behavior", i.e., to stop having more children.[91]

The long-term disparity has led to a significant gender imbalance or skewing of the sex ratio. As reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, China has between 32 million and 36 million more males than would be expected naturally, and this has led to social problems. "Because of a traditional preference for baby boys over girls, the one-child policy is often cited as the cause of China's skewed sex ratio ... Even the government acknowledges the problem and has expressed concern about the tens of millions of young men who won't be able to find brides and may turn to kidnapping women, sex trafficking, other forms of crime or social unrest."[29] The situation will not improve in the near future. According to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, there will be 24 million more men than women of marriageable age by 2020.[92]


According to a 2017 study in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, "existing studies indicate either a modest or minimal effect of the fertility change induced by the one-child policy on children education".[83]

Adoption and abandonment

A roadside sign in rural Sichuan: "It is forbidden to discriminate against, mistreat or abandon baby girls."

For parents who had "unauthorized" births or who wanted a son but had a daughter, giving up the child for adoption was a kind of strategy to avoid penalties under one-child restrictions. Many families also kept their illegal children hidden so they would not be punished by the government.[93] In fact, "out adoption" was not uncommon in China even before birth planning. In the 1980s, adoptions of daughters accounted for slightly above half of the so-called "missing girls", as out-adopted daughters often went unreported in censuses and survey and adoptive parents were not penalized for violating birth quota.[94] However, in 1991, a central decree attempted to close off this loophole by raising penalties and levying those penalties on any household that had an "unauthorized" child, including those that had adopted children.[95] This closing of the adoption loophole resulted in the abandonment of some two million Chinese children (mostly daughters),[16] many of whom ended up in orphanages, some 120,000 of whom would be adopted by international parents.

The peak wave of abandonment occurred in the 1990s, with a smaller wave after 2000.[95] Around the same time, poor care and high mortality rates in some state orphanages generated intense international pressure for reform.[96][97]

After 2005, the number of international adoptions declined, due both to falling birth rates and the related increase in demand for adoptions by Chinese parents themselves. In an interview with National Public Radio on 30 October 2015, Adam Pertman,[98] president and CEO of the National Center on Adoption and Permanency, indicated that "the infant girls of yesteryear have not been available, if you will, for five, seven years. China has been ... trying to keep the girls within the country ... And the consequence is that, today, rather than those young girls who used to be available – primarily girls – today, it's older children, children with special needs, children in sibling groups. It's very, very different."[99]


Since there are no penalties for multiple births, it is believed that an increasing number of couples are turning to fertility medicines to induce the conception of twins. According to a 2006 China Daily report, the number of twins born per year was estimated to have doubled.[timeframe?][100]

Quality of life for women

The one-child policy's limit on the number of children has prompted parents of women to start investing money in their well-being. As a result of being an only child, women have increased opportunity to receive an education, and support to get better jobs. One of the side effects of the one-child policy is to have liberated women from heavy duties in terms of taking care of many children and the family in the past; instead women had a lot of spare time for themselves to pursue their career or hobbies. The other major "side effect" of the one child policy is that the traditional concepts of gender roles between men and women have weakened. Being one and the only "chance" the parents have, women are expected to compete with peer men for better educational resources or career opportunities. Especially in cities where one-child policy was much more regulated and enforced, expectations on women to succeed in life are no less than on men. Recent data has shown that the proportion of women attending college is higher than that of men. The policy also has a positive effect of the policy fines at 10 to 19 years of age on the likelihood of completing senior high school in women of Han ethnicity. At the same time, the one-child policy reduces the economic burden for each family. The condition for each family has become better. As a result, women also have much more freedom within the family. They are supported by their family to pursue their life achievements.[101]

Healthcare improvements

It is reported that the focus of China on population planning helps provide a better health service for women and a reduction in the risks of death and injury associated with pregnancy. At family planning offices, women receive free contraception and pre-natal classes that contributed to the policy's success in two respects. First, the average Chinese household expends fewer resources, both in terms of time and money, on children, which gives many Chinese people more money with which to invest. Second, since Chinese adults can no longer rely on children to care for them in their old age, there is an impetus to save money for the future.[102]

"Four-two-one" problem

A white sign with two lines of red Chinese characters and a smaller one beneath them on a background of white tile
A government sign in Tangshan Township: "For a prosperous, powerful nation and a happy family, please practice family planning."

As the first generation of law-enforced only-children came of age for becoming parents themselves, one adult child was left with having to provide support for his or her two parents and four grandparents.[103][104] Called the "4-2-1 Problem", this leaves the older generations with increased chances of dependency on retirement funds or charity in order to receive support. If not for personal savings, pensions, or state welfare, most senior citizens would be left entirely dependent upon their very small family or neighbours for assistance. If for any reason, the single child is unable to care for their older adult relatives, the oldest generations would face a lack of resources and necessities. In response to such an issue, by 2007, all provinces in the nation except Henan had adopted a new policy allowing couples to have two children if both parents were only children themselves;[105][failed verification][106] Henan followed in 2011.[107]

Unregistered children

Heihaizi (Chinese: 黑孩子; pinyin: hēiháizi) or "black child" is a term denoting children born outside the one-child policy, or generally children who are not registered in the Chinese national household registration system.

Being excluded from the family register means they do not possess a Hukou, which is "an identifying document, similar in some ways to the American social security card."[108] In this respect they do not legally exist and as a result cannot access most public services, such as education and health care, and do not receive protection under the law.[109][110][111]

Potential social problems

Some parents may over-indulge their only child. The media referred to the indulged children in one-child families as "little emperors".[112] Since the 1990s, some people have worried that this will result in a higher tendency toward poor social communication and cooperation skills amongst the new generation, as they have no siblings at home. No social studies have investigated the ratio of these so-called "over-indulged" children and to what extent they are indulged. With the first generation of children born under the policy (which initially became a requirement for most couples with first children born starting in 1979 and extending into the 1980s) reaching adulthood, such worries were reduced.[113]

However, the "little emperor syndrome" and additional expressions, describing the generation of Chinese singletons are very abundant in the Chinese media, Chinese academia and popular discussions. Being over-indulged, lacking self-discipline and having no adaptive capabilities are traits that are highly associated with Chinese singletons.[114]

Some 30 delegates called on the government in the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in March 2007 to abolish the one-child rule, citing "social problems and personality disorders in young people". One statement read, "It is not healthy for children to play only with their parents and be spoiled by them: it is not right to limit the number to two children per family, either."[115] The proposal was prepared by Ye Tingfang, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, who suggested that the government at least restore the previous rule that allowed couples to have up to two children. According to a scholar, "The one-child limit is too extreme. It violates nature's law. And in the long run, this will lead to mother nature's revenge."[115][116]

Birth tourism

Reports surfaced of Chinese women giving birth to their second child overseas, a practice known as birth tourism. Many went to Hong Kong, which is exempt from the one-child policy. Likewise, a Hong Kong passport differs from China's mainland passport by providing additional advantages. Recently though, the Hong Kong government has drastically reduced the quota of births set for non-local women in public hospitals. As a result, fees for delivering babies there have surged. As further admission cuts or a total ban on non-local births in Hong Kong are being considered, mainland agencies that arrange for expectant mothers to give birth overseas are predicting a surge in those going to North America.[117][unreliable source?]

As the United States practises birthright citizenship, all children born in the US will automatically have US citizenship. The closest US location from China is Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands, a US dependency in the western Pacific Ocean that allows Chinese visitors without visa restrictions. As of 2012, the island was experiencing an upswing in Chinese births, since birth tourism there had become cheaper than to Hong Kong. This option is used by relatively affluent Chinese who often have secondary motives as well, wishing their children to be able to leave mainland China when they grow older or bring their parents to the US. Canada, compared to the US, is less achievable as their government denies many visa requests.[118][119]

Sex-selective abortion

Due to the preference in Rural Chinese society to give birth to a son,[120] pre-natal sex determination and sex-selective abortions are illegal in China.[121] Often argued as one of the key factors in the imbalanced sex-ratio in China, as excess female infant mortality and underreporting of female births cannot solely explain this gender disparity.[122] Researchers have found that the gender of the firstborn child in rural parts of China impact whether or not the mother will seek an ultrasound for the second child. 40% of women with a firstborn son seek an ultrasound for their second pregnancy, versus 70% of women with firstborn daughters. This clearly depicts a desire for women to birth a son if one has not yet been birthed.[123] In response to this, the Chinese government made sex-selective abortions illegal in 2005.[123]


The policy is controversial outside China for many reasons, including accusations of human rights abuses in the implementation of the policy, as well as concerns about negative social consequences.[124]

Statement of the effect of the policy on birth reduction

The Chinese government, quoting Zhai Zhenwu, director of Renmin University's School of Sociology and Population in Beijing, estimates that 400 million births were prevented by the one-child policy as of 2011, while some demographers challenge that number, putting the figure at perhaps half that level, according to CNN.[125] Zhai clarified that the 400 million estimate referred not just to the one-child policy, but includes births prevented by predecessor policies implemented one decade before, stating that "there are many different numbers out there but it doesn't change the basic fact that the policy prevented a really large number of births".[126]

This claim is disputed by Wang Feng, director of the Brookings-Tsinghua Center for Public Policy, and Cai Yong from the Carolina Population Center at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill[126] Wang claims that "Thailand and China have had almost identical fertility trajectories since the mid 1980s", and "Thailand does not have a one-child policy."[126] China's Health Ministry has also disclosed that at least 336 million abortions were performed on account of the policy.[127]

According to a report by the US Embassy, scholarship published by Chinese scholars and their presentations at the October 1997 Beijing conference of the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population seemed to suggest that market-based incentives or increasing voluntariness is not morally better but that it is, in the end, more effective.[128] In 1988, Zeng Yi and Professor T. Paul Schultz of Yale University discussed the effect of the transformation to the market on Chinese fertility, arguing that the introduction of the contract responsibility system in agriculture during the early 1980s weakened family planning controls during that period.[129] Zeng contended that the "big cooking pot" system of the People's Communes had insulated people from the costs of having many children. By the late 1980s, economic costs and incentives created by the contract system were already reducing the number of children farmers wanted.

A long-term experiment in a county in Shanxi, in which the family planning law was suspended, suggested that families would not have many more children even if the law were abolished.[42] A 2003 review of the policy-making process behind the adoption of the one-child policy shows that less intrusive options, including those that emphasized delay and spacing of births, were known but not fully considered by China's political leaders.[130]

Unequal enforcement

Corrupted government officials and especially wealthy individuals have often been able to violate the policy in spite of fines.[131] Filmmaker Zhang Yimou had three children and was subsequently fined 7.48 million yuan ($1.2 million).[132] For example, between 2000 and 2005, as many as 1,968 officials in Hunan province were found to be violating the policy, according to the provincial family planning commission; also exposed by the commission were 21 national and local lawmakers, 24 political advisors, 112 entrepreneurs and 6 senior intellectuals.[131]

Some of the offending officials did not face penalties,[131] although the government did respond by raising fines and calling on local officials to "expose the celebrities and high-income people who violate the family planning policy and have more than one child".[131] Also, people who lived in the rural areas of China were allowed to have two children without punishment, although the family is required to wait a couple of years before having another child.[133]

Human rights violations

The one-child policy has been challenged for violating a human right to determine the size of one's own proper family. According to a 1968 proclamation of the International Conference on Human Rights, "Parents have a basic human right to determine freely and responsibly the number and the spacing of their children."[134][135]

According to the UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph, a quota of 20,000 abortions and sterilizations was set for Huaiji County, Guangdong in one year due to reported disregard of the one-child policy. According to the article local officials were being pressured into purchasing portable ultrasound devices to identify abortion candidates in remote villages. The article also reported that women as far along as 8.5 months pregnant were forced to abort, usually by an injection of saline solution.[136] A 1993 book by social scientist and conservative political activist Steven W. Mosher reported that women in their ninth month of pregnancy, or already in labour, were having their children killed whilst in the birth canal or immediately after birth.[137]

According to a 2005 news report by Australian Broadcasting Corporation correspondent John Taylor, China outlawed the use of physical force to make a woman submit to an abortion or sterilization in 2002 but ineffectively enforces the measure.[138] In 2012, Feng Jianmei, a villager from Shaanxi province was forced into an abortion by local officials after her family refused to pay the fine for having a second child. Chinese authorities have since apologized and two officials were fired, while five others were sanctioned.[139]

In the past, China promoted eugenics as part of its population planning policies, but the government has backed away from such policies, as evidenced by China's ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which compels the nation to significantly reform its genetic testing laws.[140] Recent[when?] research has also emphasized the necessity of understanding a myriad of complex social relations that affect the meaning of informed consent in China.[141] Furthermore, in 2003, China revised its marriage registration regulations and couples no longer have to submit to a pre-marital physical or genetic examination before being granted a marriage license.[142]

The United Nations Population Fund's (UNFPA) support for family planning in China, which has been associated with the One-Child policy in the United States, led the United States Congress to pull out of the UNFPA during the Reagan administration,[143] and again under George W. Bush's presidency, citing human rights abuses[144] and stating that the right to "found a family" was protected under the Preamble in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.[145] President Obama resumed U.S. government financial support for the UNFPA shortly after taking office in 2009, intending to "work collaboratively to reduce poverty, improve the health of women and children, prevent HIV/AIDS and provide family planning assistance to women in 154 countries".[146][147]

Effect on infanticide rates

Sex-selected abortion, abandonment, and infanticide are illegal in China. Nevertheless, the United States Department of State,[148] the Parliament of the United Kingdom,[149] and the human rights organization Amnesty International[150] have all declared that infanticide still exists.[151][152][153] A writer for the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs wrote, "The 'one-child' policy has also led to what Amartya Sen first called 'Missing Women', or the 100 million girls 'missing' from the populations of China (and other developing countries) as a result of female infanticide, abandonment, and neglect".[154]

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation offered the following summary as to the long term effects of sex-selective abortion and abandonment of female infants:

Multiple research studies have also found that sex-selective abortion – where a woman undergoes an ultrasound to determine the sex of her baby, and then aborts it if it's a girl – was widespread for years, particularly for second or subsequent children. Millions of female fetuses have been aborted since the 1970s. China outlawed sex selective abortions in 2005, but the law is tough to enforce because of the difficulty of proving why a couple decided to have an abortion. The abandonment, and killing, of baby girls has also been reported, though recent research studies say it has become rare, in part due to strict criminal prohibitions.[29]

Anthropologist G. William Skinner at the University of California, Davis and Chinese researcher Yuan Jianhua have claimed that infanticide was fairly common in China before the 1990s.[155]

In popular culture

  • Ball, David (2002). China Run. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-74322743-8. A novel about an American woman who travels to China to adopt an orphan of the one-child policy, only to find herself a fugitive when the Chinese government informs her that she has been given "the wrong baby".
  • The prevention of a state-imposed abortion during labor to conform with the one child policy is a key plot point in Tom Clancy's novel The Bear and the Dragon.
  • The difficulties of implementing the one-child policy are dramatized in Mo Yan's novel Frog (2009; English translation by Howard Goldblatt, 2015).
  • Avoiding the family-planning enforcers is at the heart of Ma Jian's novel The Dark Road (translated by Flora Drew, 2013).
  • Novelist Lu Min writes about her own family's experience with the One Child Policy in her essay "A Second Pregnancy, 1980" (translated by Helen Wang, 2015).[156]
  • Xue, Xinran (2015). Buy Me the Sky. Rider (imprint). ISBN 978-1-8460-4471-7. Tells the stories of the children brought up under China's one-child policy and the effect that has had on their lives, families and ability to deal with life's challenges, the fact was that China's population was spiralling out of control.
  • Fong, Mei (2016). One Child: The Story of China's Most Radical Experiment. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 9780544275393.

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Further reading

  • Aird, John S. (1990). Slaughter of the Innocents : Coercive Birth Control in China. Washington, DC: AEI Press. ISBN 9780844737034.
  • Better 10 Graves Than One Extra Birth: China's Systemic Use of Coercion To Meet Population Quotas. Washington, DC: Laogai Research Foundation. 2004. ISBN 978-1-931550-92-5.
  • Fong, Mei (2015). One Child: The Past and Future of China's Most Radical Experiment. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 978-0-544-27539-3. Interview with Mei on her challenges writing the book.
  • Hardee-Cleaveland, Karen (1988). Family Planning in China: Recent Trends, Volume 3. Center for International Research, U.S. Bureau of the Census.
  • Goh, Esther C.L. (2011). "China's One-Child Policy and Multiple Caregiving: raising little suns in Xiamen" (PDF). Journal of International and Global Studies. New York: Routledge. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 May 2012.
  • Greenhalgh, Susan (2008). Just One Child: Science and Policy in Deng's China (illustrated ed.). University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-25339-1.
  • Johnson, Kay Ann (2016). China's Hidden Children: Abandonment, Adoption, and the Human Costs of the One-Child Policy. University Of Chicago Press. ISBN 978-0226352510.
  • Scharping, Thomas. "Abolishing the One-Child Policy: Stages, Issues and the Political Process." Journal of Contemporary China 28.117 (2019): 327-347.
  • Zhang, Junsen. "The evolution of China's one-child policy and its effects on family outcomes." Journal of Economic Perspectives 31.1 (2017): 141-60. online

External links

9 September 2015

Elizabeth II became the longest reigning monarch of the United Kingdom.

List of monarchs in Britain by length of reign

Elizabeth II, the current and longest-reigning monarch, has reigned since 6 February 1952.

The following is a list, ordered by length of reign, of the monarchs of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (1927–present), the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland (1801–1927), the Kingdom of Great Britain (1707–1801), the Kingdom of England (871–1707), the Kingdom of Scotland (878–1707), the Kingdom of Ireland (1542–1800), and the Principality of Wales (1216–1542).

Queen Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch on 9 September 2015 when she surpassed the reign of her great-great-grandmother Victoria.[1][2] On 6 February 2017 she became the first British monarch to celebrate a Sapphire Jubilee, commemorating 65 years on the throne.


These are the ten longest reigning monarchs in the British Isles for whom there is reliable recorded evidence.

No. Monarch Reign Duration
From To Days Years, days
1 QEII.png Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom 6 February 1952 Present 24,783 67 years, 311 days
2 Queen victoria.jpg Victoria of the United Kingdom 20 June 1837 22 January 1901 23,226 63 years, 216 days
3 Allan Ramsay - King George III in coronation robes - Google Art Project.jpg George III of the United Kingdom 25 October 1760 29 January 1820 21,644 59 years, 96 days
4 James I of England Schloss Ambras.jpg James VI of Scotland 24 July 1567 27 March 1625 21,066 57 years, 246 days
5 Henry III funeral head.jpg Henry III of England 28 October 1216 16 November 1272 20,473 56 years, 19 days
6 Edward III of England (Order of the Garter).jpg Edward III of England 25 January 1327 20 June 1377 18,410 50 years, 147 days
7 William the Lion portrait.jpg William I of Scotland 9 December 1165 4 December 1214 17,892 48 years, 360 days
8 Llywelyn the Great.JPG Llywelyn of Gwynedd 1195 11 April 1240 16,173–16,902 c. 44–45 years
9 Elizabeth I in coronation robes.jpg Elizabeth I of England 17 November 1558 24 March 1603 16,198 44 years, 127 days
10 David II of Scotland by Sylvester Harding 1797.jpg David II of Scotland 7 June 1329 22 February 1371 15,235 41 years, 260 days

The longest claim by a pretender was that of James Francis Edward Stuart (the "Old Pretender"), who was the Jacobite pretender to the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland for 64 years, 3 months, and 16 days (17 September 1701 – 1 January 1766).

Elizabeth II: the longest-reigning monarch

On 9 September 2015 (at the age of 89 years, 141 days), Elizabeth II became the longest-reigning British monarch and the longest-reigning female monarch in world history.[3][4] On 23 May 2016 (at the age of 90 years, 32 days), her reign surpassed the claimed reign of James Francis Edward Stuart (the "Old Pretender").[5] On 13 October 2016 (at the age of 90 years, 175 days), she became the world's longest-reigning current monarch (and the world's longest-serving current head of state) after the death of Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), King of Thailand.[6][7]

If she is still reigning on –

  • 18 July 2020 (at age 94 years, 88 days), she will have been queen for 25,000 days.[8]
  • 6 February 2022 (at age 95 years, 291 days), she will celebrate her platinum jubilee, marking 70 years on the throne.[9]
  • 27 May 2024 (at age 98 years, 36 days), she will be the longest-reigning monarch of a major European country, surpassing Louis XIV of France, who reigned for 72 years, 110 days.[10]

Unitary monarchy

United Kingdom

On 1 January 1801 the Kingdom of Great Britain united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, becoming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland by Act of Parliament in 1927[11] following the creation of the Irish Free State in 1922.

Name Reign Duration
From To (days) (years, days)
Elizabeth II 6 February 1952 Present 24,783 67 years, 311 days[12]
Victoria 20 June 1837 22 January 1901 23,226 63 years, 216 days
George V 6 May 1910 20 January 1936 9,390 25 years, 259 days
George III[13] 1 January 1801 29 January 1820 6,967 19 years, 28 days
George VI 11 December 1936 6 February 1952 5,535 15 years, 57 days
George IV 29 January 1820 26 June 1830 3,801 10 years, 148 days
Edward VII 22 January 1901 6 May 1910 3,391 9 years, 104 days
William IV 26 June 1830 20 June 1837 2,551 6 years, 359 days
Edward VIII 20 January 1936 11 December 1936 326 326 days

Great Britain

On 1 May 1707, under the Acts of Union 1707, the Kingdom of England united with the Kingdom of Scotland as the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Name Reign Duration
From To (days) (years, days)
George III[13]
25 October 1760 1 January 1801 14,677 40 years, 68 days
George II 22 June 1727N.S. 25 October 1760 12,168 33 years, 114 days
George I 1 August 1714 11 June 1727 4,697 12 years, 314 days
Anne[14] 1 May 1707 1 August 1714 2,649 7 years, 92 days



Includes English monarchs from the installation of Alfred the Great as King of Wessex in 871 to Anne (House of Stuart) and the Acts of Union on 1 May 1707, when the crown became part of the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Name Reign Duration
From To (days) (years, days)
Henry III 28 October 1216 16 November 1272 20,473 56 years, 19 days
Edward III 25 January 1327 21 June 1377 18,410 50 years, 147 days
Elizabeth I 17 November 1558 24 March 1603 16,198 44 years, 127 days
Henry VI[15] 1 September 1422
31 October 1470
4 March 1461
11 April 1471
Total: 14,226
38 years, 184 days
162 days
38 years, 347 days
Æthelred II[15] 18 March 978
3 February 1014
25 December 1013
23 April 1016
Total: 13,875
35 years, 282 days
2 years, 80 days
37 years, 362 days
Henry VIII 22 April 1509 28 January 1547 13,795 37 years, 281 days
Charles II[16] 30 January 1649 6 February 1685 13,156 36 years, 7 days
Henry I 5 August 1100 1 December 1135 12,901 35 years, 118 days
Henry II
(co-ruler with Henry the Young King)
25 October 1154 6 July 1189 12,673 34 years, 254 days
Edward I 20 November 1272 7 July 1307 12,646 34 years, 229 days
Alfred the Great 24 April 871 26 October 899 10,412 28 years, 185 days
Edward the Elder 27 October 899 17 July 924 9,029 24 years, 264 days
Charles I[17] 27 March 1625 30 January 1649 8,710 23 years, 309 days
Henry VII 22 August 1485 21 April 1509 8,642 23 years, 242 days
Edward the Confessor 8 June 1042 5 January 1066 8,612 23 years, 211 days
Richard II 22 June 1377 29 September 1399 8,134 22 years, 99 days
James I[18] 24 March 1603 27 March 1625 8,039 22 years, 3 days
Edward IV[15] 4 March 1461
11 April 1471
3 October 1470
9 April 1483
Total: 7,881
9 years, 213 days
11 years, 363 days
21 years, 211 days
William I 12 December 1066 9 September 1087 7,563 20 years, 258 days
Edward II 8 July 1307 20 January 1327 7,136 19 years, 196 days
Cnut 30 November 1016 12 November 1035 6,921 18 years, 347 days
Stephen[15] 22 December 1135
1 November 1141
7 April 1141
25 October 1154
Total: 6,674
5 years, 106 days
12 years, 358 days
18 years, 99 days
John 6 April 1199 19 October 1216 6,406 17 years, 196 days
Edgar I 1 October 959 8 July 975 5,759 15 years, 280 days
Æthelstan 2 August 924
(or 925)
27 October 939 5,564
or 5,199
15 years, 86 days
or 14 years, 86 days
Henry IV 30 September 1399 20 March 1413 4,919 13 years, 171 days
William III[19]
(co-ruler with Mary II)
13 February 1689 8 March 1702 4,770 13 years, 23 days
Henry the Young King
(co-ruler with Henry II)
14 June 1170 11 June 1183 4,745 12 years, 362 days
William II 26 September 1087 2 August 1100 4,693 12 years, 310 days
Richard I 6 July 1189 6 April 1199 3,561 9 years, 274 days
Eadred 26 May 946 23 November 955 3,468 9 years, 181 days
Henry V 21 March 1413 31 August 1422 3,450 9 years, 163 days
Edmund I 27 October 939 26 May 946 2,403 6 years, 211 days
Edward VI 28 January 1547 6 July 1553 2,351 6 years, 159 days
Mary II[20]
(co-ruler with William III)
13 February 1689 28 December 1694 2,144 5 years, 318 days
Mary I
19 July 1553 17 November 1558 1,947 5 years, 121 days
(also Kingdom of Great Britain)
8 March 1702 30 April 1707 1,879 5 years, 53 days
Harold I 12 November 1035 17 March 1040 1586 4 years, 126 days
Eadwig 23 November 955 1 October 959 1,408 3 years, 312 days
James II[21] 6 February 1685 11 December 1688 1,404 3 years, 309 days
Edward the Martyr 9 July 975 18 March 978 984 2 years, 253 days
Harthacnut 17 March 1040 8 June 1042 813 2 years, 83 days
Richard III 26 June 1483 22 August 1485 788 2 years, 57 days
Harold II 5 January 1066 14 October 1066 282 282 days
Edmund II 23 April 1016 30 November 1016 221 221 days
Matilda (disputed) 7 April 1141 1 November 1141 208 208 days
Edward V 9 April 1483 26 June 1483 78 78 days
Edgar II 15 October 1066 17 December 1066 63 63 days
Sweyn Forkbeard 25 December 1013 3 February 1014 40 40 days
Jane (disputed) 10 July 1553 19 July 1553 9 9 days


Includes Scottish monarchs from the installation of Kenneth I (House of Alpin) in 848 to Anne (House of Stuart) and the Acts of Union on 1 May 1707, when the crown became part of the Kingdom of Great Britain.

Name Reign Duration
From To (days) (years, days)
James VI[18] 24 July 1567 27 March 1625 21,066 57 years, 246 days
William I 9 December 1165 4 December 1214 17,892 48 years, 360 days
Constantine II 900 943 c. 15,500 c. 43 years
David II 7 June 1329 22 February 1371 15,235 41 years, 260 days
Alexander III 6 July 1249 19 March 1286 13,405 36 years, 256 days
Malcolm III 17 March 1058 13 November 1093 13,025 35 years, 241 days
Alexander II 4 December 1214 6 July 1249 12,633 34 years, 214 days
James I 4 April 1406 21 February 1437 11,281 30 years, 323 days
Malcolm II 25 March 1005 25 November 1034 10,837 29 years, 245 days
James V 9 September 1513 14 December 1542 10,688 29 years, 96 days
David I 23 April 1124 24 May 1153 10,623 29 years, 31 days
James III 3 August 1460 11 June 1488 10,174 27 years, 313 days
Charles II[16] 30 January 1649
29 May 1660
3 September 1651
6 February 1685
Total: 9,965
2 years, 216 days
24 years, 253 days
27 years, 104 days
James IV 11 June 1488 9 September 1513 9,220 25 years, 90 days
Mary I 14 December 1542 24 July 1567 8,988 24 years, 222 days
Charles I[17] 27 March 1625 30 January 1649 8,710 23 years, 309 days
Kenneth II 971 995 c. 8,700 c. 23-24 years
James II 21 February 1437 3 August 1460 8,564 23 years, 164 days
Edward Balliol (disputed) 24 September 1332 20 January 1356 8,518 23 years, 118 days
Robert I 25 March 1306 7 June 1329 8,475 23 years, 74 days
Robert II 22 February 1371 19 April 1390 6,996 19 years, 56 days
Alexander I 8 January 1107 23 April 1124 6,315 17 years, 106 days
Macbeth 14 August 1040 15 August 1057 6,210 17 years, 1 day
Robert III 19 April 1390 4 April 1406 5,828 15 years, 350 days
Constantine I 862 877 c. 5,400 c. 15 years
Kenneth MacAlpin 843 13 February 858 c. 5,100 c. 14 years
William II[19] 11 May 1689 8 March 1702 4,683 12 years, 301 days
Malcolm IV 24 May 1153 9 December 1165 4,582 12 years, 199 days
(co-ruler with Eochaid?)
878 889 c. 4.000 c. 11 years
Donald II 889 900 c. 4,000 c. 11 years
Malcolm I 943 954 c. 3,600 c. 10-11 years
Edgar 1097 8 January 1107 c. 3,600 c. 10 years
Kenneth III 997 25 March 1005 c. 2,900 c. 8 years
Indulf 954 962 c. 2,700 c. 8 years
Duncan I 25 November 1034 14 August 1040 2,089 5 years, 263 days
Mary II[20] 11 April 1689 28 December 1694 2,087 5 years, 261 days
Amlaíb 971 977 c. 2,000 c. 5-6 years
(also Kingdom of Great Britain)
8 March 1702 30 April 1707 1,879 5 years, 53 days
Dub 962 c. 966-967 c. 1,800 c. 5 years
Cuilén c. 966-967 971 c. 1,800 c. 5 years
Domnall mac Ailpín 858 13 April 862 c. 1.300 c. 4 years
James VII[22] 6 February 1685 11 December 1688
(claimed until 16 September 1701.)
(claimed 6,065.)
3 years, 309 days
claimed 16 years, 222 days
Margaret 25 November 1286 26 September 1290 1,401 3 years, 305 days
John Balliol 17 November 1292 10 July 1296 1,331 3 years, 236 days
Donald III 13 November 1093 1097 c. 1,000 c. 3-4 years
Constantine III 1095 1097 c. 700 c. 2 years
Áed mac Cináeda 877 878 c. 365 c. 1 year
Lulach 15 August 1057 17 March 1058 212 212 days
Duncan II May 1094 12 November 1094 c. 195 "less than 7 months"


The High King of Ireland (846–1198) was primarily a titular title (with the exception of Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair who was regarded as the first "King of Ireland"). The later Kingdom of Ireland (1542–1800) came into being under the Crown of Ireland Act 1542, the long title of which was "An Act that the King of England, his Heirs and Successors, be Kings of Ireland". In 1801 the Irish crown became part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

Name Reign Duration
From To (days) (years, days)
Ruaidrí Ua Conchobair 1166 1193 c. 26-27 years
Edward Bruce (disputed) June 1315 14 October 1318 c. 3 years, 100 days
Brian Ua Néill (disputed) 1258 1260 c. 1-2 years



The Principality (or Kingdom) of Gwynedd (5th century–1216) was based in northwest Wales, its rulers were repeatedly acclaimed as "King of the Britons" before losing their power in civil wars or Saxon and Norman invasions. In 1216 it was superseded by the title Principality of Wales, although the new title was not first used until the 1240s.

Name Reign Duration
From To (days) (years, days)
Gruffudd ap Cynan 1081 1137 c. 55-56 years
Llywelyn the Great 1195 11 April 1240 >16,172 c. 44-45 years
Owain Gwynedd 1137 1170 >11,688 c. 33 years
Dafydd ab Owain Gwynedd 1170 1195 >8,766 c. 25 years
Hywel ab Owain Gwynedd 1170 1170 <1 year


The Principality of Wales (1216–1542) was a client state of England for much of its history, except for brief periods when it was de facto independent under a Welsh Prince of Wales (see House of Aberffraw). From 1301 it was first used as a title of the English (and later British) heir apparent. The Laws in Wales Acts 1535–1542 formally incorporated all of Wales within the Kingdom of England.

Name Reign Duration
From To (days) (years, days)
Llywelyn ap Gruffudd 1253 11 December 1282 >10,572 c. 29 years
Owain Glyndŵr (disputed) 16 September 1400 c. 1416 >5,585 c. 16 years
Owain Goch ap Gruffydd 25 February 1246 1255 >3,000 c. 9 years
Owain Lawgoch (disputed) May 1372 July 1378 >2,221 c. 6 years
Dafydd ap Llywelyn 12 April 1240 25 February 1246 2,145 5 years, 319 days
Dafydd ap Gruffydd 11 December 1282 3 October 1283 296 296 days

Charles, Prince of Wales, is the longest-serving Prince of Wales, with a tenure of 61 years, 141 days since his proclamation as such in 1958.

See also


  1. ^ Patricia Treble (30 December 2014). "Palace calculations: Queen Elizabeth II set to lap Victoria". Maclean's. Retrieved 4 September 2015.
  2. ^ "Official Website of the British Monarchy". Retrieved 5 September 2015. On 9 September 2015, The Queen will become the longest reigning British Monarch, surpassing Queen Victoria.
  3. ^ Warren Gaebel. "Longest Reigning British Monarch". Warren Gaebel. Retrieved 15 June 2015.
  4. ^ "Elizabeth is about to become Britain's longest-reigning queen. Here's how she's changed monarchy". The Spectator. 3 January 2015. Retrieved 8 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Famous Stewarts". www.stewartsociety.org. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  6. ^ "Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej dies at 88". BBC News. 13 October 2016. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  7. ^ By PA  Oct 13, 2016. "Queen takes over longest reign mantle after Thailand's King Bhumibol dies". Aol.co.uk. Retrieved 13 October 2016.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ "Queen Elizabeth II becomes longest-reigning British monarch". Deutsche Welle. 9 September 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2016.
  9. ^ Victoria Arbiter (9 September 2015). "Queen Elizabeth II: The platinum monarch?". CNN. Retrieved 20 May 2016.
  10. ^ Elledge, Jonn (9 September 2015). "Queen Elizabeth II is about to become Britain's longest reigning monarch so here are some charts". New Statesman.
  11. ^ "Royal And Parliamentary Titles Act 1927". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 13 October 2016.
  12. ^ Updated daily according to UTC.
  13. ^ a b George III, King of Great Britain, became King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland on 1 January 1801.
  14. ^ a b c Anne, Queen of England and Queen of Scots, became Queen of Great Britain on 1 May 1707.
  15. ^ a b c d Monarch's total length of reign is the sum of the two reigns displayed.
  16. ^ a b Charles II King of England and King of Scots concurrently from 30 January 1649 to 6 February 1685.
  17. ^ a b Charles I was King of England and King of Scots concurrently.
  18. ^ a b James VI, King of Scots, became James I, King of England, in 1603.
  19. ^ a b William of Orange became William III, King of England, on 13 February 1689 and William II, King of Scots, on 11 May 1689.
  20. ^ a b Mary II became Queen of England on 13 February 1689 and Queen of Scots on 11 May 1689.
  21. ^ James was James II, King of England, and James VII, King of Scots, concurrently.
  22. ^ James was James II, King of England, and James VII, King of Scotland, concurrently.

13 August 2015

At least 76 people are killed and 212 others are wounded in a truck bombing in Baghdad, Iraq.

August 2015 Baghdad bombing

2015 Baghdad market truck bombing
Part of Iraqi Civil War
LocationSadr City, Baghdad, Iraq
Coordinates33°23′20″N 44°27′30″E / 33.38889°N 44.45833°E / 33.38889; 44.45833
Date13 August 2015 (2015-08-13)
TargetShiite civilians
Attack type
Mass murder, truck bomb
WeaponsTruck bombs
DeathsAt least 76[1]
InjuredAt least 212[1]
PerpetratorsIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)[1]

The 2015 Baghdad market truck bombing was a truck bomb attack on 13 August 2015, targeting a Baghdad food market in Sadr City, a predominantly Shi'ite neighborhood.


On 13 August 2015, shortly after 06:00 local time (03:00 UTC), a bomb-packed refrigeration truck was detonated in Sadr City. As of 13 August 2015, at least 76 people were confirmed to have been killed in the bombing, with at least 212 more injured. The market in the Shi'ite neighborhood is one of the biggest in Baghdad selling wholesale food items. This incident caused much resent against the government for the continued terror attacks in the city.[1][2][3]


Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack,[1][4] stating that "God has enabled the soldiers of the Islamic State to detonate a parked, booby-trapped truck amid a gathering of apostates in one of their most important Shiite majority strongholds, in Sadr City."[5] According to the group, the attack targeted members of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces, largely comprising Shi'ite militias allied with the Iraqi government. However, CNN reported the top United Nations official in Iraq, Gyorgy Busztin, as saying that the victims were "innocent civilians."[6]


In response to the attack, local residents attacked police and security responders, blaming the government for continued attacks in Baghdad.[7]

Shiite lawmaker Hakim al-Zamili, head of Iraq's parliamentary security committee, called for a review of security procedures, including the establishment of local patrols, as well as enhancing the country's intelligence capabilities.[8]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "Islamic State claims huge truck bomb attack in Baghdad's Sadr City". Reuters. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  2. ^ "Isis bombing leaves scores dead at market in Baghdad". The Guardian. 13 August 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  3. ^ "Baghdad truck bomb: More than 60 dead after explosion in busy Iraq marketplace". The Independent. 13 August 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  4. ^ "Truck Bombing at Baghdad Market Kills 62; IS Claims Blast". 13 August 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  5. ^ "Truck Bomb Kills About 60 at Market in Baghdad Neighborhood of Sadr City". The New York Times. 13 August 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  6. ^ "Blast at Baghdad market kills dozens; ISIS claims responsibility". CNN. 13 August 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  7. ^ "Scores Killed in Baghdad Truck Bomb". The Wall Street Journal. 13 August 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Truck bomb targeting Shiites kills 67 at Baghdad market". The Washington Post. 13 August 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2015.

10 January 2015

At least 56 dies as the result of a mass poisoning at a funeral in Mozambique involving beer that was deliberately contaminated with crocodile bile.

On 10 January 2015, authorities in Mozambique reported that 56 people had died and nearly 200 were hospitalized after drinking contaminated beer at a funeral on 9 January. According to local officials, all of the people affected had consumed the local beer, pombe, which they said was likely poisoned with crocodile bile. However, a Forbes article opposed this hypothesis and instead pointed to the toxic flowering plant foxglove as the likely source of the poison. Local officials said that people who had consumed the beer complained about muscle pains and diarrhea. Samples of beer and blood were sent to the capital city of Maputo for laboratory testing. It was eventually determined that the deaths and illnesses were a result of bacterial contamination of the beer.

Radio Mozambique reported that 56 people from the villages of Chitima and Songo, both in Tete Province, had died. 196 were hospitalized after a funeral on 9 January, in the western part of the country. Those affected had consumed home-made pombe beer, a traditional fermented beverage in Mozambique, made of sorghum, bran, corn, sugar, with Schizosaccharomyces pombe yeast.

Among the first reported dead on the following day were the drink stand owner, two of her relatives and four neighbors. The district director of Health, Women and Social Action in Cahora Bassa region, Paula Bernardo, said that area hospitals were flooded with people suffering from cramps and diarrhea and that more people had died. As of 12 January, 169 people remained hospitalized, and that number dropped to 35 on the 13th. The president of Mozambique, Armando Guebuza, announced three days of national mourning.