As one of the world’s largest carbon emitters, America’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement sent shock waves throughout the international community. This agreement was a landmark decision made by 195 countries in 2015, committing them to take action against climate change by reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. However, in 2017, the US government under President Trump announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, citing its potential economic impact on the country.
The Paris Agreement was designed to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, and preferably 1.5 degrees Celsius, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This was to be achieved through the implementation of various strategies, including transitioning to renewable energy sources and improving energy efficiency. All countries were required to set their own targets and regularly report on their progress in meeting them.
The US had been instrumental in helping to negotiate the Paris Agreement, and its withdrawal was a major blow to global efforts to combat climate change. The current administration suggested that the agreement would cost American jobs and negatively impact the country’s economic growth. However, many experts argue that the economic costs of inaction on climate change would far outweigh the costs of implementing the Paris Agreement.
The withdrawal did not take effect until November 2020, which meant that the US continued to be a signatory to the Paris Agreement until that date. In the meantime, many US states, cities, and businesses had pledged to continue to work towards the Paris Agreement’s goals, regardless of the federal government’s decision. The new administration under President Biden has since rejoined the agreement, signalling a renewed commitment to addressing climate change at a global level.
The US has a key role to play in the fight against climate change, with its large population and high carbon emissions. While the decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement was a setback, it also highlighted the importance of continued efforts to address climate change at all levels, including local, national, and international. The Paris Agreement remains a critical framework for global action on climate change, and it is encouraging to see it gaining momentum once again with the US back on board.