The United States formalized its exit from the Paris Agreement on Wednesday (4), fulfilling a promise made by President Donald Trump in the face of uncertainty about the outcome of the American elections.
Depending on the results of the White House race, the US break with the major pact to curb climate change may be brief. Trump’s rival, Democrat Joe Biden, has promised to resume the Paris Agreement upon election.
“Leaving the US will leave a vacuum in our regime and in global efforts to achieve the Paris Agreement goals,” said Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).
The United States remains a member of the UNFCCC, the organization responsible for implementing the treaty objectives. Espinosa said the organization would “stand ready to assist the United States in any effort to re-enter the Paris Agreement”.
Trump announced his intention to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement in June 2017, saying the treaty would harm the American economy. However, the President has only managed to formalize the withdrawal now due to the conditions of participation set out in the agreement.
The exit makes the US the only country among 197 signatories to give up the Paris Agreement, which was created in 2015 under the administration of Barack Obama. In the treaty, the American government pledged to cut the country’s carbon emissions by 26% to 28% by 2025, based on 2005 pollution.
If Biden wins the election and becomes the next US president, he is expected to commit to even more ambitious goals. He promised to zero the US emissions balance by 2050 and invest $ 2 trillion ($ 11.5 trillion) in transforming the American economy.