U.S. Officially Withdraws From the Paris Climate Accord

An even set in motion years ago by the Trump administration came to fruition on November 4 while most Americans were paying attention to the election.

2 minute read

November 5, 2020, 6:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


U.S. EPA

Gustavo Rossi / Shutterstock

Brady Dennis, Juliet Eilperin, and Dino Grandoni report that the United States officially "became the first and only nation to withdraw from the Paris climate accord on Wednesday, even as the outcome of the presidential race remained unknown."

With the result of the presidential election still undetermined, the direction of the United States as a global partner in the effort to reduce carbon emissions before the worst projections for climate change and sea-level rise are impossible to avoid hangs in the balance. A Trump victory would mean years of stagnation on climate action in the United States.

Here's what the climate status quo looks like in the United States, according to the article:

The United States could miss its own Paris accord commitment to lower carbon emissions 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. According to an analysis by the Rhodium Group, the country is on track to cut its emissions between 20 and 27 percent, depending on how quickly the economy recovers from the pandemic. But it would need to cut emissions by 43 percent over the next decade to be on track to reach net zero emissions by 2050 — a goal that the European Union, Japan, South Korea and other nations have set in a push to slow the world’s warming.

The two candidates for the presidency would "undoubtedly lead the country in opposite directions on climate policy.

"But even as the electoral map appeared to tilt in Biden’s favor Wednesday, signs pointed toward the GOP retaining control of the Senate," according to the article. "That outcome would dim the prospects that a Biden administration could shepherd a comprehensive climate bill through Congress."

Wednesday, November 4, 2020 in The Washington Post

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