The U.S. Officially Leaves the Paris Climate Agreement

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The United States has officially left the Paris Agreement, which means a representative is still allowed to attend the United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change; they, however, would not be allowed to make decisions.

Alexandros Michailidis/ Shutterstock

The Paris Agreement is a pact from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. With 197 countries already signed to the agreement, their goal is to ensure the rise in temperature this century is below two degrees by monitoring greenhouse gas emissions and industries.

President Donald Trump has implied that the United States formally left in 2017, which isn’t the case. November 4 was the earliest date that the U.S could start withdrawing from the pack according to the United Nations rules. Following this deadline, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo filled the final paperwork.

Despite being a non-binding agreement for nations to assume responsibility for climate change, Trump said it “punish[es] the American people while enriching foreign polluters” and kills jobs.

When President Barack Obama was in charge, he promised to reduce its emissions; meanwhile, Trump has stopped the progress since he has been president. Even though leaving the agreement doesn’t mean the U.S. won’t address climate change, it’s clear that it’s no longer a priority.

If the world continues at the rate it’s going, we won’t be able to reverse the negative effects of climate change. Former Vice President and Presidential candidate Joe Biden has expressed that he promises to recommit the United States to the Paris Agreement if he were elected as the 46th president.