The first step on the path toward leaving the Paris Climate Agreement was taken on Monday. The Trump administration filed the initial paperwork necessary to exit the pact.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the move on Twitter, saying, “Today we begin the formal process of withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. The U.S. is proud of our record as a world leader in reducing all emissions, fostering resilience, growing our economy, and ensuring energy for our citizens. Ours is a realistic and pragmatic model.”
The exit takes a year to go into effect after the filing, so a year from today — the day after Election Day 2020 — the U.S. will officially leave the deal.
Former President Barack Obama signed the accord in 2016, joining 194 other countries.
The agreement was not legally binding but was intended to reduce worldwide carbon emissions. The main goal was to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 ⁰C — mainly by reducing carbon emissions by 20 percent, increasing renewable energy’s share in the market to 20 percent, and reach a 20 percent increase in energy efficiency.
Critics claimed it would cost the U.S. economy $3 trillion in lost economic growth and 6.5 million jobs.
With the paperwork filed, the United States moves forward with its exit from a voluntary agreement which some supporters of the agreement proclaim is pivotal to stave off an existential threat, and others see as one that would tie America’s hands economically while countries such as China do what they please.
Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad watching and quoting Monty Python productions.