The agreement stated 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)  ratify, accept, approve or adhere to 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 Paris Agreement is an environmental agreement that was adopted by almost all nations in 2015 to combat climate change and its negative effects. The agreement aims to significantly reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit global temperature increase to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels this century, while continuing to pursue ways to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees. The agreement provides for the commitment of all major emitters to reduce their pollution from climate change and to strengthen these commitments over time. It provides developed countries with a means to assist developing countries in their mitigation and adaptation efforts and establishes a framework for monitoring, reporting and strengthening countries` individual and collective climate goals. Here in Paris, the parties agreed on a process to determine the approaches and precautions needed to best meet the needs of the countries and communities that have contributed the least, but are most affected by climate change. Negotiators of the agreement stated that the INDCs presented at the time of the Paris conference were insufficient and found that “the estimates of aggregate greenhouse gas emissions in 2025 and 2030 resulting from the planned contributions at the national level are not covered by the least expensive scenarios of 2oC, but lead to a projected level of 55 gigatons in 2030.” and acknowledges that “much greater efforts to reduce emissions will be needed to keep the global average temperature increase to less than 2 degrees Celsius, Reducing emissions to 40 gigatonnes or 1.5 degrees Celsius.”  [Clarification needed] In addition to emission reduction targets, the agreement sets a long-term goal of adapting to climate change and the goal of directing financial flows towards low-carbon, low-carbon development.