US Finally Exits Global Climate Pact amid Election Uncertainty

The United States formally exited the Paris Agreement on Wednesday, fulfilling a longstanding promise by US President Donald Trump to withdraw the world’s second-largest greenhouse gas emitter from the global pact to fight climate change.
But the outcome of the tight US election contest will determine for how long this will last. Mr Trump’s Democratic rival, Joe Biden, has promised to rejoin the Agreement if he is elected.
“The US withdrawal will leave a gap in our regime, and the global efforts to achieve the goals and ambitions of the Paris Agreement,” said Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to which the US still remains a party. Ms Espinosa said the body will be “ready to assist the US in any effort in order to rejoin the Paris Agreement”.
Mr Trump first announced his intention to withdraw the US from the pact in June 2017, arguing it would undermine the US economy. But he was unable to formally do so until now because of the requirements of the deal.
The departure makes the US the only country of 197 signatories to have withdrawn from the Agreement, hashed out in 2015. Mr Obama’s White House had pledged to cut US emissions by 26 to 28 per cent by 2025 from 2005 levels under the deal. Mr Biden is broadly expected to ramp up those goals if elected. He has promised to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 under a sweeping US$2 trillion plan to transform the economy.
The Rhodium Group said that in 2020, the US will be at around 21 per cent below 2005 levels.
It added that under a second Trump administration, it expects US emissions would increase by more than 30 per cent through 2035 from 2019 levels.
Most scientists believe the world must cut emissions sharply and quickly in order to avoid the most catastrophic effects of global warming. China, Japan, South Korea, and the European Union have recently ramped up their carbon-cutting targets.

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