Friday, April 12, 2024

UN rues U.S. withdrawal from Paris climate agreement

The Obama administration has signed onto the agreement in September 2016.

• November 5, 2020
Donald Trump and António Guterres
Donald Trump and António Guterres

The UN climate change secretariat, UNFCCC, says the decision of the United States to opt out of the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change was regrettable , restating its commitment to work with American people and beyond, to accelerate climate action in line with a historic treaty on limiting global warming and curbing greenhouse gas emissions.

“We note with regret that the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement has formally come into effect today,” the UN body said in a joint statement issued alongside Chile, France, Italy and the United Kingdom.

Under the Paris Agreement, countries pledge to take action to keep temperature below two degrees Celsius and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

On Wednesday, the U.S. formally withdrew from the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, a decision originally announced three years ago.

The Paris Agreement allows for a party to leave the deal at any time after three years from the date on which it entered into force for that State.Withdrawal would take effect one year after receipt of official notification.

The U.S., under the Obama administration, acceded to the Paris Agreement on 3 September, 2016, with entry into force occurring two months later.

In August 2017, the Trump administration formally notified the UN Secretary-General of its intention to withdraw from the accord as soon as it became eligible.

For the UNFCCC and partners, there is no greater responsibility than protecting the planet and the world’s people from the threat of climate change, their statement declared.

“The science is clear that we must urgently scale up action and work together to reduce the impacts of global warming and to ensure a greener, more resilient future for us all. The Paris Agreement provides the right framework to achieve this,” they said.

Next month marks five years since representatives from more than 190 countries met in the French capital and adopted the agreement.

Recently, two major industrial nations, Japan, and the Republic of Korea, announced their commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, which the UN Secretary-General has welcomed.

UNFCCC spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric expressed hope that this development “will lead others down that path”.

This year, the UN was forced to postpone its latest global climate change conference, known as COP26, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The conference will now be held in Glasgow, Scotland, next November, hosted by the UK in partnership with Italy.

“As we look towards COP26 in Glasgow, we remain committed to working with all UN stakeholders and partners around the world to accelerate climate action, and with all signatories to ensure the full implementation of the Paris Agreement,” their joint statement concluded.

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