Climate Change: U.S. Formally Withdraws From Paris Agreement
After a three-year delay, the US has become the first nation in the world to formally withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. President Trump announced the move in June 2017, but UN regulations meant that his decision only takes effect today, the day after the US election. The US could re-join it in future, should a president choose to do so.
By Matt McGrath. BBC News. November 4, 2020.
The U.S. Left The Paris Climate Pact: Allies And Rivals Are Pressing Ahead
At the stroke of midnight Wednesday, when the United States became the only country to formally quit the Paris Agreement, the global accord designed to avert catastrophic climate change, it fulfilled a campaign promise that Donald J. Trump made four years ago. But a lot has happened in those four years. The costs of climate disasters have grown. Banks and investors have begun to turn away from fossil fuels as the price of renewable energy drops precipitously. Not least, key United States allies have rushed to stake out their own climate action targets. If Joseph R. Biden Jr. wins the election and rejoins the pact, the United States will have a lot of catching up to do.
By Lisa Friedman and Somini Sengupta. New York Times. November 4, 2020.
U.S. Has Exited The Paris Agreement.
Does It Matter?
“When America sneezes, the world catches a cold.” The saying is meant to remind the world the US is a giant economy with the world’s largest military…. that the US leads the world by several metrics. On climate change, it’s not the case anymore. On November 4, 2020 the US officially left the Paris Agreement. We’ve known this day was coming for four years. If we’re honest with ourselves, the euphoria of US leadership on climate policy was a historical blip. We’ve been here before, but this time it’s different. The US may be sneezing at the Paris Agreement, but the world is moving on. The last time there was a major climate treaty, the US stood on the sidelines. Although Vice President Gore had signed the Kyoto Protocol on behalf of the US, the next Administration, led by President George W. Bush, withdrew the US’ signature and refused to send it to the US Congress to consider ratifying it. It took seven years to recover from the blow dealt by the US. For the Paris Agreement, lessons were learned and negotiators worked to incorporate safeguards for the treaty and global action. The UNFCCC negotiators designed the Paris Agreement with the US firmly in mind. Developed and developing countries alike have to make a pledge (or nationally determined contribution). The pledging system eased the process for the US to join. Adopted on the eve of the 2016 US election year, the negotiators designed a process for leaving the Paris Agreement that would take four years – the length of a US Presidential administration.
By Lynn Wagner and Jennifer Allan. Earth Negotiations Bulletin/ IISD Reporting Services. November 4, 2020.