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The Paris Agreement – Earth Day 2016

The slogan "FOR THE PLANET" is projected on the Eiffel Tower as part of the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, France, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015.  (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

The Paris Agreement signals a global turning point in the road to a low-carbon economy. After years in the making, 196 nations have agreed to reduce their greenhouse emissions with a goal of limiting global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees celsius. To achieve this, participating nations will pursue the highest possible ambition; investing in nature and renewable energy – solar in particular – to ensure a new, lower-carbon economy.

The carbon reduction targets will be voluntarily determined and set by individual countries. America’s goal is to cut carbon emissions 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. Solar will definitely play a role in this this, most prominently through the Clean Power Plan, which was foundational to the submitted carbon reduction targets.

This means more investment certainty for the solar industry. Cumulative solar installations are nearly 12 times greater globally than they were during the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009. Solar was bound to explode with or without a deal in Paris — but the new framework will undoubtedly widen the available markets for the technology.