The Paris Agreement has an „upward“ structure unlike most international environmental treaties, which are „top down“, characterized by internationally defined standards and objectives that states must implement.  Unlike its predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol, which sets legal commitment targets, the Paris Agreement, which focuses on consensual training, allows for voluntary and national objectives.  Specific climate targets are therefore politically promoted and not legally binding. Only the processes governing reporting and revision of these objectives are imposed by international law. This structure is particularly noteworthy for the United States – in the absence of legal mitigation or funding objectives, the agreement is seen as an „executive agreement, not a treaty.“ Since the 1992 UNFCCC treaty was approved by the Senate, this new agreement does not require further legislation from Congress for it to enter into force.  The agreement stipulated that it would only enter into force (and therefore fully effective) if 55 countries that produce at least 55% of global greenhouse gas emissions (according to a list drawn up in 2015) have ratified, approved or ratified the agreement.   On April 1, 2016, the United States and China, which together account for nearly 40% of global emissions, issued a joint statement confirming that the two countries would sign the Paris climate agreement.  175 contracting parties (174 states and the European Union) signed the agreement on the first day of its signing.   On the same day, more than 20 countries announced plans to join the accession as soon as possible in 2016.
The ratification by the European Union has achieved a sufficient number of contracting parties to enter into force on 4 November 2016. The EU and its member states are individually responsible for ratifying the Paris Agreement. There was a strong preference for the EU and its 28 Member States to simultaneously table their ratification instruments to ensure that neither the EU nor its Member States commit to commitments that belong exclusively to the other and there was concern that there was a disagreement on each Member State`s share of the EU-wide reduction target. just as Britain`s vote to leave the EU could delay the Paris pact.  However, on 4 October 2016, the European Parliament approved the ratification of the Paris Agreement and the EU tabled its ratification instruments on 5 October 2016 with several EU Member States.  The Paris Agreement is an environmental agreement that was adopted in 2015 by almost all nations to address climate change and its negative consequences.