The US has notified the UN of its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, a move that has highly dissatisfied the signatory countries.
Even though a similar deal was announced by the President in June 2017, the earliest effective date of withdrawal for the US came out to be November 2020 – which is shortly before the end of the current President’s existing term.
Signed in 2016, the Paris Agreement is within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and deals with the greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance.
About 195 UNFCCC members have signed the agreement till March and 187 have become party to the Paris Agreement, which has a long-term temperature goal of reducing the risks and impacts of climate change. Being a part of the agreement each country must determine, plan, and regularly report on the contribution that it undertakes to mitigate global warming.
Why the US wants to Quit the Agreement?
As the Paris Agreement believes in developing the ability of its member states to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change, and make “finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development”, the government has stated that such a policy has put an “unfair economic burden” on Americans.
With the present move, the US has become the world’s sole non-signatory country and has prompted high-level efforts by the European Union to keep the agreement on track since many other member countries have expressed their disappointment.
Challengers and Supporters of the Deal
Since the US is the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, it has drawn huge criticisms from many organizations in the country. People have joined the “We Are Still In movement”, pledging to cut emissions and move to renewable energy.
As the US’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement is one of the main agendas of 2020 elections, the Democrats have openly condemned the current administration’s move. The Republicans have welcomed the decision, calling it was important for the US to leave this overly regulative and burdensome agreement that doesn’t really address climate change.
State Secretary Mike Pompeo stated that the US would instead follow “a realistic and pragmatic model”, using “all energy sources and technologies cleanly and efficiently”.
Following the US’ pattern, both Russia and Turkey have declined to ratify the norms of the Paris Agreement deal despite signing.
Meanwhile, Japan and France, which is the oldest ally of the US, have internationally condemned the US for its move.
The US was recently seen investing heavily in African resource-rich countries and boosting the Gulf nations to produce oil up to their maximum capacity. Its contribution to the climate change through Paris Agreement is kind of burdening its economy as it forces the US to help poorer nations by providing “climate finance” to adapt to climate change and switch to renewable energy.
It appears that the US’ business interests are overpowering its ability to spearhead the global initiative of protecting the environment and promoting green energy.