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UN, member states regret US withdrawal from Paris agreement on climate change

News Agencies | Updated on: 5 November 2020, 17:04 IST

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), along with UN member states Chile, France, Italy and the UK, have expressed regret over Washington's decision to exit the Paris accord on climate change but said they would continue to cooperate with their US partners on climate action.

"We note with regret that the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement has formally come into effect today [November 4]. As we look towards COP26 in Glasgow, we remain committed to working with all US stakeholders and partners around the world to accelerate climate action, and with all signatories to ensure the full implementation of the Paris Agreement," the UNFCCC and UN member states said in a statement published late on Wednesday.

The Paris accord, adopted in 2015 and signed a year later, is designed to boost greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation worldwide. Its main goals include keeping the global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees in a bid to reduce the impact and risks of climate change.

Under the deal, each participating country must determine and report regularly its efforts to mitigate global warming. It has no compliance mechanism.

The US' decision to cease its participation in the Paris agreement was announced in June 2017, with President Donald Trump claiming that the accord would undermine the US economy, one of the biggest in the world and responsible for nearly 15 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions. Trump suggested that the current agreement on conditions "fair to the United States" be implemented, or that a new deal is created. The withdrawal decision came into force on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, amid the ongoing presidential election in the US, candidate Joe Biden commented on the withdrawal from the Paris agreement.

"Today, the Trump Administration officially left the Paris Climate Agreement. And in exactly 77 days, a Biden Administration will rejoin it," he tweeted early on Thursday.

Biden's pledge was supported, in particular, by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, who said that his victory on the ballot "would be great news for our planet".


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First published: 5 November 2020, 17:04 IST