About 150 countries have submitted voluntary targets for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to the United Nations as part of a new framework beyond 2020. Greenhouse gases are suspected to cause global warming. Among them are countries that had previously been reluctant to take proactive countermeasures, including India, the United States and China, as well as Japan. The international community aims to reach an agreement on a new framework at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) to be held in Paris at the end of this year. Unlike the 1997 Kyoto Protocol that obligates only developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, all parties including developing countries will likely participate in the new framework with clear voluntary targets. Greenhouse gases emitted by the countries that have submitted their pledges to the United Nations account for roughly 90 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. That the groundwork has been firmly laid for an agreement is welcome. However, a serious problem remains. Even if all the parties achieve their self-imposed targets, by the end of this century the average global temperature is expected to be about three degrees higher than during the pre-industrial revolution era. The international community seeks to keep the rise in the average global temperature below 2 degrees to prevent serious damage from global warming, but as things stand, this won't happen. Discussions need to be held on boosting each party's numerical target at COP21, but such a move would throw the meeting into confusion. Less than two months are left before the conference. It would be impossible to reach such a consensus during such a short period. France, which will chair COP21, and several other countries have proposed a system under which the United Nations would regularly examine and evaluate how far the parties have gone to achieve their goals and raise those parties' goals if necessary. The parties should accept the proposal to make sure that the agreement is effective. The issue of how developed countries can expand their financial assistance and technological transfers to developing countries will have a great impact on negotiations at COP21. India has submitted a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions relative to its gross domestic product by 33 to 35 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. However, the country is asking for financial assistance from developed countries to help it achieve this goal. Many other developing countries are also asking for similar financial aid. Developed countries should consider expanding their assistance to developing countries to a certain extent to reach an agreement on a new framework. Close attention should be paid to emerging countries' moves. China has pledged to extend 20 billion yuan (some 380 billion yen) to help other developing countries achieve their targets, and is set to introduce an emissions quota transaction system throughout the country. Brazil has submitted a target of cutting its greenhouse gas emissions by 37 percent from 2005 levels by 2025. It is an ambitious goal that would reduce total greenhouse gas emissions, just like those by developed countries. Positive stances taken by these countries are hoped to narrow a gap between developed and developing countries in their efforts to slash greenhouse gas emissions. Japan needs to play a more active role by expanding its assistance to developing countries, for example. Tokyo should consider bold measures, such as introducing a larger-scale transaction system for emissions quotas, and link it to those in China and South Korea, which launched its own system in January this year.