United States Officially Leaves Paris Climate Agreement

Maria Goncalves

The United States has formally withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement, more than three years after President Donald Trump announced the decision.

The U.S. became the first country in the world to officially exit the multilateral agreement on Wednesday, just a day after its presidential election. As reported by BBC News, Trump announced his decision back in June 2017, but due to United Nations regulations, it only became effective this week. However, the U.S. has the option to rejoin the agreement in the future.

The Paris Agreement was drafted within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2015 and came into force on November 4, 2016. To this day, it has been signed by an overwhelming number of countries all around the world, according to Climate Change News. However, seven signatory parties have not yet ratified the deal, including Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Libya, as well as other countries heavily affected by war, such as Yemen and South Sudan.

The deal was put together with the goal of tackling rising global temperatures and subsequent climate change effects. Its aim is to keep the planet's temperature rise this century below pre-industrial levels, as well as to try to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 Celsius.

The BBC report also discussed what happened before Trump decided to withdraw from the agreement. According to the outlet, both the group and former President Barack Obama's negotiators took into consideration the possibility of a U.S. exit from the agreement in case there was a change of leadership, making the withdrawal a lengthy process.

Per the rules, no country was allowed to formally leave the Paris agreement until three years after the date of ratification. After that, a party could only leave after serving a 12-month notice period to the United Nations.

This move was based on the fact that there have been previous instances in which U.S. politics made it harder for climate agreements to take place, such as when former President Bill Clinton failed to garner enough Senate support to back the Kyoto Protocol of 1997.

The U.S. leaving the Paris agreement is a major blow for all other parties involved, since it has the world's most powerful economy and responsible for approximately 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. China is also one of the world's largest polluters, but it has been implementing measures such as tree planting to reduce emissions, as The Inquisitr reported.