On June 1, 2017, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement, a historic international pact aimed at addressing climate change. The move came as a shock to many, given that the United States had been a key player in negotiating the agreement and had been a signatory since 2016.
The Paris Agreement, also known as the Paris Climate Accord, was adopted on December 12, 2015, by 196 parties at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris, France. The goal of the agreement is to limit global warming to 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.
The agreement requires each country to set and report on its own plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to strengthen those plans over time. It also provides for financial and technological support to help developing countries transition to a low-carbon economy.
The United States played a crucial role in crafting the Paris Agreement, with President Obama personally leading the negotiations. The United States committed to reducing its emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025 and pledged to contribute $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund, which helps developing countries adapt to the effects of climate change.
Despite this initial commitment, President Trump cited concerns about the economic impact of the agreement and the potential loss of American jobs as reasons for withdrawing. He also claimed that the agreement unfairly burdened the United States while allowing other countries, particularly China, to continue increasing their emissions.
Critics of the decision argued that withdrawing from the Paris Agreement would damage America`s reputation on the global stage and undermine efforts to address climate change. Many states, cities, and businesses across the country have also pledged to continue to uphold the goals of the agreement, with some even setting their own ambitious emissions targets.
In November 2020, the United States officially withdrew from the Paris Agreement, following a year-long process required by the agreement. However, President-elect Joe Biden has pledged to rejoin the agreement on his first day in office and to prioritize climate action as part of his administration`s agenda.
The United States` involvement in the Paris Agreement has been significant, both in terms of its leadership in negotiating the agreement and its subsequent withdrawal. The impact of this decision remains to be seen, but it is clear that addressing climate change will continue to be a key issue facing the United States and the world in the years ahead.