Paris Agreement United States 2020

2020 was a critical year for the Paris Agreement and the United States` commitment to climate change. The Paris Agreement was signed in 2015 by 196 countries, including the United States, with the goal of keeping global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The agreement also aims to increase the ability of countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change and to make financial flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.

However, in June 2017, the then US President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement, calling it a “bad deal” for the country. The withdrawal was set to take effect on November 4, 2020, the day after the US Presidential election. However, the election resulted in the victory of President Joe Biden, who pledged to rejoin the Paris Agreement on his first day in office.

On January 20, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order to rejoin the Paris Agreement. This move was welcomed by the international community and was seen as a significant step towards global efforts to combat climate change. The United States is the world`s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases after China, and its participation in the Paris Agreement is crucial for achieving the goals of the accord.

Under the Paris Agreement, each country sets its own targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs). The United States had initially pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. However, this target was not ambitious enough to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius or below. Therefore, there is a need for the United States to increase its ambition in its NDCs and set more ambitious targets.

President Biden has already taken several steps to address climate change, including rejoining the Paris Agreement, cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline project, directing federal agencies to procure carbon-free electricity, and setting a goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. The United States is expected to announce a new NDC in the coming months, and it is hoped that this target will be more ambitious than the previous one.

In conclusion, the United States` participation in the Paris Agreement is critical for global efforts to combat climate change. The decision to rejoin the agreement by President Biden has been welcomed by the international community, and the United States is expected to play a leading role in efforts to address climate change. However, more needs to be done to increase ambition in the United States` NDCs to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius or below.