Us Financial Obligations under Paris Agreement

In December 2015, the US and 194 other countries signed the Paris Agreement, a historic global effort to combat climate change. The agreement aims to limit the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C.

As part of the Paris Agreement, countries are required to submit nationally determined contributions (NDCs) outlining their climate action plans. These NDCs are intended to be ambitious, transparent, and updated every five years.

The US initially submitted an NDC in 2015 under the Obama administration, pledging to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. However, in 2017, President Trump announced that the US would withdraw from the Paris Agreement, citing concerns about the economic impact of the agreement on American businesses and workers.

Despite the withdrawal, the US is still technically a party to the Paris Agreement until November 4, 2020, due to the rules of the agreement. As such, the US is still obligated to meet its original NDC commitments until the withdrawal takes effect.

Furthermore, many US states, cities, businesses, and other stakeholders have pledged to continue to take action to address climate change even in the absence of federal leadership. For example, the We Are Still In coalition, which includes over 3,800 signatories representing more than half of the US economy, has committed to meeting or exceeding the US`s original NDC targets.

Additionally, the Biden administration has indicated that it intends to rejoin the Paris Agreement and pursue even more ambitious climate goals, such as achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

In summary, while the US has announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, it is still bound by its obligations until November 4, 2020, and many US stakeholders are continuing to take action to address climate change. With the incoming Biden administration, there is hope that the US will recommit to the Paris Agreement and pursue even more ambitious climate goals in the years ahead.