In December 2015, the countries party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change overwhelmingly adopted the Paris Agreement (the agreement). Effective on Nov. 4, 2016, the agreement aims to combat global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions through nonbinding national efforts and mandatory emissions reporting. The Obama administration strongly supported the agreement.
What a difference an election makes. On Aug. 4, the U.S. representative to the United Nations delivered a letter to the secretary general stating the intent of the United States to withdraw from the agreement. This letter came as no surprise. During the presidential campaign, then-candidate Donald Trump labeled climate change a hoax. In June, the president announced that the United States would withdraw from the agreement, characterizing its emission reduction targets as unfair to U.S. businesses and workers. The Aug. 4 letter reiterated that policies and pledges of the Obama administration to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases will not bind the United States.
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