As of Wednesday, the United States has officially left the Paris Agreement, as U.S. President Donald Trump promised in 2017.
On November 4, 2019, the U.S. gave a 12-month notice to the United Nations that it would withdraw from the climate accord, which has its signatories pledge to keep the global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Although President Trump said in 2017 that he would withdraw the United States from what he called “the terrible, one-sided Paris Climate Accord,” the U.S. had to wait for three years after the agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016, to give the 12-month notice for officially exiting the pact.
The official U.S. exit from the Paris Agreement coincides with a contested U.S. presidential election, the outcome of which would determine if America will stay out of the Climate Accord.
Democratic candidate Joe Biden has promised to re-join the Paris Agreement if he is elected president. As of 7:50 a.m. ET on Wednesday, votes were still being counted, and no candidate had reached the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.
“The decision to leave the Paris agreement was wrong when it was announced and it is still wrong today,” Helen Mountford from the World Resources Institute told the BBC.
“The U.S. withdrawal will leave a gap in our regime, and the global efforts to achieve the goals and ambitions of the Paris Agreement,” Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to which the U.S. remains a party, told Reuters.
Although the Trump Administration withdrew from the global climate agreement, U.S. cities, states, and businesses continue to pledge emissions reduction through organizations such as America’s Pledge and We Are Still In. Across America, 24 states have committed to upholding the U.S. commitment to the Paris Accord of reducing emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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