On August 4, 2017, the Trump administration officially announced to the United Nations that the United States intends to withdraw from the Paris Agreement as soon as it is legally entitled to it.  The formal declaration of resignation could not be submitted until after the agreement for the United States came into force on November 4, 2019 for a three-year date.   On November 4, 2019, the U.S. government filed the withdrawal notice with the Secretary-General of the United Nations, custodian of the agreement, and formally withdrew from the Paris Agreement a year later, when the withdrawal came into effect.  After the November 2020 elections, President-elect Joe Biden promised to reinstate the United States in the Paris Agreement for his first day in office and renew the U.S. commitment to climate change mitigation.   The IPCC notes that climate change is limited only by a “substantial and sustainable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.” While the benefits of presenting a single global temperature threshold as a dangerous climate change can be discussed, the general scientific view is that an increase in global temperatures of more than 2 degrees Celsius would be an unacceptable risk – potentially leading to mass extinctions, more severe droughts and hurricanes, and an arid region. While it is not clear that global warming will cause “sudden and irreversible changes” in Earth`s systems, the risk of exceeding the threshold only increases if temperatures rise. In an effort to “significantly reduce the risks and effects of climate change,” the agreement calls for the average increase in global temperature over this century to be well below 2 degrees Celsius, while continuing efforts to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees. It also calls on countries to commit as quickly as possible to comparing global greenhouse gas emissions and to become carbon neutral by the second half of this century. To achieve these goals, 186 countries – responsible for more than 90% of global emissions – presented CO2 reduction targets prior to the Paris conference, known as “determined national contributions” (INDC). These targets set out the commitments made by each country to reduce emissions until 2025 or 2030, including macroeconomic targets for co2 reduction and individual commitments of some 2,250 cities and 2,025 companies.
In 1992, President George H.W. Bush joined 107 other heads of state at the Rio Earth Summit in Brazil to adopt a series of environmental agreements, including the UNFCCC framework, which is still in force today. The international treaty aims to prevent dangerous human intervention in the planet`s climate systems in the long term. The pact does not set limits on greenhouse gas emissions from individual countries and does not contain enforcement mechanisms, but establishes a framework for international negotiations on future agreements or protocols to set binding emissions targets. Participating countries meet annually at a Conference of the Parties (COP) to assess their progress and continue discussions on how best to combat climate change. Developing countries say that over time, industrialized countries have emitted more greenhouse gases. They say that these developed countries should now bear more burden because they have been able to develop their economies without restriction.
Comments are closed.