Congress never ratified the Kyoto Protocol, an extension of an international climate agreement, which was established in 1992, which essentially shook it. Some experts fear that the Paris agreement will happen in the same way. The Paris Agreement on The Control and Reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions was at the heart of the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held in Paris in December 2015. Although this event was heralded as a turning point in human interaction with the Earth`s atmosphere, it was only the first step in a long process to hold countries accountable for their emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases. Until Earth Day 2016 (April 22), 174 countries have signed the closing agreement for an official signing ceremony organized in New York by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. Over the next 13 months, another 21 countries have signed and 147 have ratified it. The agreement came into force on November 4, 2016. Obama signed an executive order that confirmed the U.S. passage of the agreement, but he did not submit it to Congress for approval. Trump is thus able to “denounce” the U.S. commitment to the agreement. If the withdrawal is effective, the United States will be the only UNFCCC member states that have not signed the Paris Agreement.
At the time of the initial announcement of the withdrawal, Syria and Nicaragua were also not present; However, both Syria and Nicaragua have ratified the agreement, so the United States is the only UNFCCC member state that intends not to be a contracting party to the agreement.  But without the United States, the balance between the parties that signed the Paris Agreement shifts in China`s favor on key issues that have not yet been resolved. According to Michael Oppenheimer, a climatologist at Princeton University in New Jersey, China could resist demands for follow-up and detailed reports on how countries implement their policies and achieve their goals. “It doesn`t bode well for the effectiveness of the Paris agreement,” he says. The White House said Trump would end the implementation of former President Barack Obama`s CO2 reduction targets, and that the withdrawal would be consistent with the years of withdrawal processes under the agreement.  On September 16, 2017, an EU official said that the Trump administration had apparently weakened its position on exiting the agreement.Back to Blog