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


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

Large blank mall building with only two cars in large parking lot.

Pennsylvania Mall Conversion Bill Passes House

If passed, the bill would promote the adaptive reuse of defunct commercial buildings.

April 18, 2024 - Central Penn Business Journal

Street scene in Greenwich Village, New York City with people walking through busy intersection and new WTC tower in background.

Planning for Accessibility: Proximity is More Important than Mobility

Accessibility-based planning minimizes the distance that people must travel to reach desired services and activities. Measured this way, increased density can provide more total benefits than increased speeds.

April 14, 2024 - Todd Litman

Wood-frame two-story rowhouses under construction.

Fair Housing Cannot Take a Back Seat to ‘Build, Baby, Build’

If we overlook fair housing principles in the plan to build US housing back better, we risk ending up right back where we started.

April 11, 2024 - James Jennings

"No 710" lawn sign on green lawn.

LA Metro Board Approves New 710 Freeway Plan

The newest plan for the 710 corridor claims it will not displace any residents.

5 hours ago - Streetsblog LA

Close-up of row of electric cars plugged into chargers at outdoor station.

Austin’s Proposed EV Charging Rules Regulate Station Locations, Size

City planners say the new rules would ensure an efficient distribution of charging infrastructure across the city and prevent an overconcentration in residential areas.

6 hours ago - Austin Monitor

Green hills with orange California poppies in bloom in foreground in Chino Hills State Park, California.

Making California State Parks More Climate-Resilient

A recently released report offers recommendations for keeping state parks healthy and robust, including acquiring additional land for conservation and recreation.

7 hours ago - Spectrum News 1

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.