These rules of transparency and accountability are similar to those set out in other international agreements. Although the system does not include financial sanctions, the requirements are intended to easily monitor the progress of individual nations and promote a sense of overall group pressure, discouraging any towing of feet among countries that might consider it. Since November 2020, 194 states and the European Union have signed the agreement. 187 countries and the EU, which account for about 79% of global greenhouse gas emissions, have ratified the agreement or have joined the agreement, including China and India, the countries with the first and third largest CO2 emissions among UNFCCC members.    As of November 2020[update], the United States, Iran and Turkey are the only countries with more than 1% not to be contracting parties. Another key difference between the Paris Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol is its scope. While the Kyoto Protocol distinguishes between Schedule 1 countries and those not annexed to Schedule 1, this branch is scrambled in the Paris Agreement, as all parties must submit emission reduction plans.  While the Paris Agreement continues to emphasize the principle of “common but differentiated responsibility and respective capabilities” – the recognition that different nations have different capacities and duties to combat climate change – it does not offer a specific separation between developed and developing countries.  It therefore appears that negotiators will have to continue to address this issue in future rounds of negotiations, although the debate on differentiation could take on a new dynamic.  The Paris Agreement has a bottom-up structure, unlike most international environmental treaties that are “top down,” characterized by internationally defined standards and objectives and must be implemented by states.  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.”