US President, Donald Trump, has announced that the USA is withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord.
Trump made the announcement in the White House Rose Garden last Thursday, stating that the US would “cease all implementation of non-binding elements of the agreement and it would begin negotiations to either re-enter the Paris Climate Accord or to have a new agreement on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people (and) its tax payers.”
According to an article published by the ABC, at least 55 countries and 55 percent of the world’s emissions need to be ratified to put the Paris Climate Accord in force. The article also states that the US accepted the agreement on September 3, 2016 and was bound by the agreement on its entry into force on November 4, 2016.
The article also states that under the agreement, countries can’t withdraw within three years from their date of entry and that the withdrawal would only take effect a year after that. This means that the US can only formally resign on November 4, 2019 and their withdrawal would only be in effect from November 4, 2020. Despite the US’ intention to withdraw, the agreement will still be in force, with most countries indicating that they will stay within the agreement.
According to an article by the Sydney Morning Herald, world leaders have pledged their support to the Paris Climate Accord in response to Trump’s decision, with the general consensus showing swift disagreement and disappointment.
The EU Climate Action Commissioner, Miguel Arias Canete, said in a statement that the bloc deeply regretted the decision of the Trump administration, however they also stated that the world could continue to count on Europe for global leadership.
The leaders of Italy, Germany and France shared their opinion on Trump’s decision in a rare joint statement, dismissing the suggestion that the agreement could be revised.
“We deem the momentum generated in Paris in December 2015 irreversible and we firmly believe that the Paris Agreement cannot be renegotiated since it is a viral instrument for our planet, societies and economies.”
They weren’t the only leaders to make a joint statement on the decision, with the leaders of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden, releasing a statement emphasising that their countries are already feeling the effects of climate change.
“We must reduce global warming…the effects are already visible in all parts of our planet, it is of crucial importance that all parties stick to the Paris Agreement.”
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, and Premier Li Keqiang of China, pledged their support for the Climate Accord during meetings in Berlin a week earlier.
Former US President, Al Gore, stated that Trump’s decision “undermines America’s standing in the world” and Minister for the Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg, also confirmed that Australia is still committed to the Paris Agreement.
More information on the Paris Climate Accord can be found here.
Image via Pixabay.