09/27/2017 - Regulatory Tracker

Paris Climate Agreement

by EELP Staff

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Why it Matters

The United States is the second largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world and the largest historical emitter. America’s approval of the Paris Climate Agreement in 2016 signaled our intention to cooperate globally in reducing our emissions and helping others reduce theirs. Currently, 196 nations have formally adopted the agreement. Under the Trump administration, the US withdrew from the Paris Agreement on Nov. 4, 2020. However, the Biden Administration rejoined on February 19, 2021, and the US has committed to achieving a 50 to 52 percent greenhouse gas emissions reduction from 2005 levels by 2030.

Current Status

On inauguration day Jan. 20, 2021, President Biden formally accepted the Agreement, initiating the process to rejoin the Paris Agreement on Feb. 19, 2021 and ensuing conference of parties—COP26, which is scheduled for Oct. 31, 2021 through November 12, 2021.

Timeline of Events

obama administration
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April 22, 2016 The United States signs the Paris Climate Agreement treaty, and commits to reducing domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent,  compared with 2005 levels.

Nov. 4, 2016 The Paris Climate Agreement on greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance enters into force, once at least 55 nations formally joined by submitting a plan for addressing climate change.

Trump administration
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June 1, 2017 President Trump announces the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.

Feb. 1, 2018 The European Commission announces the European Union will not sign trade agreements with countries that did not ratify the Paris Climate Agreement.

Nov. 4, 2019 The Trump Administration formally notifies the United Nations that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Agreement. The withdrawal process will take one year, making withdrawal effective on Nov. 4, 2020.

Nov. 4, 2020 The United States officially withdraws from the Paris Agreement.

Biden administration
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Jan. 20, 2021 President Biden formally accepts the Agreement, initiating the process to rejoin the Paris Agreement.

Jan. 27, 2021 President Biden, in EO 14008,  instructs the government to immediately begin developing a new Nationally Determined Contribution to be released at a Leaders’ Climate Summit being planned for April.

Feb. 19, 2021 The US rejoins the Paris Agreement.

April 22, 2021 The US hosts a virtual Leaders Summit on Climate and the Biden administration commits to reducing US greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52 percent in 2030 from 2005 levels.