The EU and its Member States are among the nearly 190 parties to the Paris Agreement. The EU formally ratified the agreement on 5 October 2016, allowing it to enter into force on 4 November 2016. For the agreement to enter into force, at least 55 countries, which have escaped at least 55% of global emissions, had to deposit their instruments of ratification. The Paris Agreement is the first universal and legally binding global agreement on climate change adopted at the Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21) in December 2015. It will also allow the parties to gradually increase their contribution to the fight against climate change in order to achieve the long-term objectives of the agreement. To contribute to the objectives of the agreement, countries presented broad national climate change plans (national contributions, NDCs). The EU is at the forefront of international efforts to combat climate change. It played an important role in mediating the Paris Agreement and continues to play a global leadership role. Outside of formal government negotiations, countries, cities and regions, businesses and members of civil society around the world are taking steps to accelerate climate change cooperatively to support the Paris Agreement as part of the Global Climate Agenda. The Paris Agreement establishes a global framework to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C and making efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. It also aims to strengthen the capacity of countries to cope with the effects of climate change and to support them in their efforts.