The Paris Agreement, which went into effect last November, is a global plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and achieve related climate goals, beginning in 2020. The treaty was signed by 195 countries, and ratified by 145 of those. Only two countries in the U.N.’s Framework Convention on Climate Change group, Nicaragua and Syria, neglected to sign.
Now, according to Axios, we can add a third—the United States. Donald Trump will reportedly pull the U.S. out of the deal, either via formal withdrawal—a three-year process—or by the faster route of simply opting out of the “underlying United Nations climate treaty.”
Why this matters: Pulling out of Paris is the biggest thing Trump could do to unravel Obama’s climate legacy. It sends a combative signal to the rest of the world that America doesn’t prioritize climate change and threatens to unravel the ambition of the entire deal.
How it happened: A letter from 22 Republican Senators (including Mitch McConnell) that called for a clean exit had reinforced Trump’s instincts to withdraw, and the president had been telling confidants over the past week that he was going to pull out.
This continues the president’s trend of reversing most, if not all, of Obama’s major accomplishments, and drawing the U.S. further down the rabbit hole of the conservative agenda.