The Paris Agreement and the United States: What Happened?
The Paris Agreement, which was signed in 2015 by 195 countries, is a landmark international treaty on climate change that aims to limit global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, while pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C. The United States, under former President Barack Obama, played a crucial role in negotiating and signing the agreement.
However, in June 2017, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement, citing concerns about its impact on the American economy. The decision was met with widespread criticism both domestically and internationally.
The withdrawal process from the Paris Agreement took effect on November 4, 2020, and the United States became the only country to leave the agreement. However, just days after taking office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to rejoin the Paris Agreement. The United States officially rejoined the agreement on February 19, 2021, under the Biden administration.
The decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement was a significant blow to global efforts to address climate change. The United States is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world and plays a crucial role in the global fight against climate change. The decision to leave the agreement also sent a message to the international community that the United States was unwilling to cooperate on this critical issue.
However, the decision to rejoin the Paris Agreement is an important step in re-establishing the United States` leadership role in the fight against climate change. The Biden administration has made it clear that addressing climate change is a top priority, and rejoining the Paris Agreement is just the first step.
Under the agreement, the United States has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. The Biden administration has also set a goal of reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, which is a significant challenge given the current state of the American economy.
In order to reach these goals, the United States will need to take significant steps to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and transition to renewable energy sources. The Biden administration has already taken several important steps in this direction, including rejoining the Paris Agreement, canceling the Keystone XL pipeline, and announcing plans to invest trillions of dollars in clean energy infrastructure.
Overall, the Paris Agreement and the United States have had a complicated relationship. While the decision to withdraw from the agreement was a setback, the decision to rejoin is an important step in the right direction. The United States must continue to take bold and decisive action to address the urgent threat of climate change and ensure a sustainable future for all.