US formally quits Paris Agreement on climate change

For now.

Zhangxin Zheng | November 05, 2020, 12:30 PM

The United States has formally withdrawn from the Paris Agreement, a major blow to the landmark global pact to act on climate change.

U.S. officially withdraws from Paris Agreement

Close to 190 nations have agreed on the need to act on climate change but the agreement allows countries to determine their national targets and act on a voluntary basis to keep global temperature increase well below 2°C.

The Paris Agreement entered into force in November 2016 after at least 55 Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change signed, accepted, and approved it.

Among these Parties include China and the U.S. which are the top two emitters of greenhouse gases.

With the withdrawal on Nov. 4, the U.S. now is among the few countries that do not adopt Paris Agreement.

Executive Director of the American Public Health Association, George C. Benjamin, said:

"With our exit from the accord, we are among only a few countries worldwide not signed on to the global agreement. At the same time, the U.S. is the second biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world.

The health and environmental impacts of climate change are already here, and denying that reality and the science behind it will have devastating consequences."

Biden says he will rejoin if he gets elected

According to The New York Times, Trump first announced his intention to withdraw from the global climate pact in 2017, calling Paris Agreement "job killing" and said it would "punish the American people while enriching foreign polluters".

However, the Trump administration was only able to file the withdrawal three years after the ratification of Paris Agreement in 2019.

The Trump administration then notified the UN Secretary-General on  Nov. 4, 2019 its decision to withdraw from the Agreement which took effect a year later.

The official withdrawal came in the midst of the U.S. Presidential Election.

The withdrawal might just be temporary though if Joe Biden does win the election.


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Top image by Markus Spiske via Unsplash.