U.S. Officially Leaves Paris Climate Accord

Nov 9, 2020

by ASME.org

Last week, the United States officially exited the Paris Agreement, an accord adopted by nearly 200 nations globally to deal with greenhouse-gas emissions and avert catastrophic climate change. President Donald Trump had been a staunch opponent of the accord when campaigning for the Presidency in 2016 and vowed to withdraw from the agreement. Last week marked the end of a year-long waiting period after notifying the United Nations of intentions to withdraw that would then allow the U.S. to officially withdraw. The U.S. is the first country to exit the Agreement.

 

The U.S. joins a very small group of non-participants, which includes Iran, Libya, Iraq, Turkey and a few other small nations. All other major superpowers and top greenhouse gas emitters remain in the accord, including China, India, UK, Russia, Brazil, Japan, and the EU.

 

The major goal of the agreement is to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius. Initially, this action was seen as strong enough to forcefully combat the devastating effects of climate change. More recently, however, scientists warn that global warming even at 1 degree Celsius is hugely threatening to the future of the planet.

 

Joe Biden has come out strongly in favor of rejoining the agreement, though even in rejoining the agreement the United States would need to take drastic action to reduce emissions and rebuild trust with international climate partners.

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