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The US Rejoins the Paris Agreement

The US Climate Change Policy faced significant setbacks after former President Donald Trump withdrew the US from the Paris Agreement in 2019. The Paris deal was drafted in 2015 to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change so naturally Trump’s decision to formally withdraw attracted negative criticism from world leaders and experts. The US re-joined under President Joe Biden, who along with the other G-seven leaders pledge to reduce carbon emissions. Senior Advisor to the Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Doctor Jonathan Pershing says that the US has committed globally to get one hundred billion dollars per year in mobilized funds to address climate change. Doctor Pershing says that Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement was disappointing.

Dr. Jonathan Pershing, Sr. Advisor, Special Presidential Envoy for Climate: “I am extremely disappointed that the United States withdrew and that the setback occurred.  I think the absence of U.S. engagement had global implications, not just national implications. Having said that, two other things are also true.  The first is that the world did not stop working because the U.S. withdrew.  It perhaps moved a little bit less slowly than it might have moved with U.S. pressure, but it did not stop moving forward.  Europe was a leader during this period.  But a number of other developing countries also stepped forward and really looked at what their commitments were and how they intended to meet those commitments. Some countries in Africa were among those leading communities.  I look at the process led by the minister in South Africa for the development of a program on emissions reductions, and they may have wanted to go faster, but they were stalwart, and they kept moving forward.  I look at small countries like a Costa Rica that continued to announce new targets and meet them.  So to me, the first point is the U.S. is absence didn’t stop the world.  I regret that it may have slowed things somewhat. On the U.S. side, things also did not stop, and that was a function of many people in the United States who believe the problem is real, even if the last president did not think it mattered very much.