US formally exits Paris climate deal

News: United States has formally exited the Paris Climate Agreement amid election uncertainty.


  • Why has the United States left the Paris Agreement?
    • According to the US, the agreement had imposed an unfair economic burden on the country and would lead to loss of jobs.
    • The Agreement also gives China and other big polluters an unfair advantage over the US by allowing them to continue to increase emissions.
  • Implications of the move: The US is the second leading producer of all carbon dioxide emissions globally, behind China.Hence, if it does not reduce its emissions, it could impact the objective of keeping the global temperature rise to within 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial times.
  • Could the US rejoin the agreement? Yes, it could.Under the rules, all that is required is a month’s notice and the US can join the agreement.
  • Can the US Still Attend Paris negotiations? The United States will be out of the Paris Agreement but by virtue of being a signatory to the UNFCCC can still attend negotiations and give opinions but is relegated to observer status.

Additional Facts:

  • Paris agreement: It was adopted at the UNFCCC COP21 held in Paris in 2015.
  • Aim: To strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change and specifies long-term goals regarding global average temperatures, adaptation to climate change and finance flows
  • Goals:
    • Temperature: hold warming below 2°C above pre-industrial levels with effective efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C
    • Adaptation: Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development
    • Low Emission Finance flows: Making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development
  • Intended Nationally Determined Targets(INDCs):The Paris Agreement requires all Parties to put forward their best efforts to address climate change through INDC’s and to strengthen these efforts in the years ahead.