US Begins Withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement

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The Trump Administration has formally started the process of withdrawing the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. In a November 4, 2019, letter to the United Nations (UN), Secretary of State Michael Pompeo stated the United States’ intention to opt out of the global climate agreement.  He expressed concern with the “unfair economic burden imposed on American workers, businesses, and taxpayers by U.S. pledges made under the Agreement.”  This starts a year-long process of withdrawal from the accord, with the U.S. officially leaving the agreement on November 4, 2020, one day after the 2020 U.S. Presidential election. 

President Trump first announced his intent to withdraw from the pact in June 2017.  However, under the rules of the climate agreement, November 4, 2019 was the earliest date that a country could formally notify the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) of its intent to withdraw from the accord, exactly three years after it went into effect.  Once a country leaves the Paris agreement, it can rejoin the pact 30 days after notifying the UNFCC of their intentions.  All Democratic candidates for President have vowed to rejoin the accord if elected.
The global climate agreement currently has 195 signatories, out of which 187 members have ratified or acceded to it, including Russia, China, India, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, and Syria.  The U.S. is the only country to withdraw from the deal.
Meanwhile, members of a worldwide coalition of more than 11,000 scientists representing 153 countries have published a Viewpoint article in BioScience warning that the planet “clearly and unequivocally faces a climate emergency.”  With a focus on future action to reduce climate-change-related harm, the Alliance of World Scientists describes graphical indicators or “vital signs” related to climate change and areas requiring immediate global action.