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USA’s new President restores America’s participation in Paris Climate Agreement

  • IASbaba
  • January 25, 2021
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USA’s new President restores America’s participation in Paris Climate Agreement

Part of: GS Prelims and GS- III – Environment

In news 

  • Joe Biden assumed office as President of the USA recently.
  • Among the first orders he signed was one to restore America’s participation in the United Nations Paris Agreement on climate change.

Key takeaways

  • America’s return will take effect on February 19.
  • USA has promised enforcement mechanism to achieve net-zero emissions no later than 2050, including a target no later than the end of his term in 2025, aided by a planned federal investment that will total $1.7 trillion over ten years, besides private investments.
  • The plan revolves around 10 million well-paying clean energy jobs with a focus on solar and wind power.
  • This year’s UN climate conference in Glasgow will see the new administration engaging UNFCCC member-nations to raise global ambition.

Do you know?

  • The withdrawal from the Paris Agreement meant that the U.S. was no longer bound by its national pledge made under the pact: to achieve an economy-wide reduction of its GHG emissions by 26%-28% below the 2005 level in 2025.
  • America also stopped its contribution to the UN’s Green Climate Fund, to which it had pledged $3 billion, after transferring an estimated $1 billion.
  • In the past, the U.S., under George W. Bush, had pulled out of the previous pact, the Kyoto Protocol, in 2001.

Important value additions

What is the Paris Agreement?

  • In December 2015, 195 countries signed an agreement (came into force on Nov 2016) within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCCC), dealing with greenhouse-gas-emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance
  • Objective: To slow the process of global warming by limiting a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • Another crucial point in this agreement was attaining “net zero emissions” between 2050 and 2100. Nations have pledged “to achieve a balance between anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century”. 
  • Developed countries were also told to provide financial resources to help developing countries in dealing with climate change and for adaptation measures. 
  • As part of a review mechanism, developed countries were also asked to communicate every two years the “indicative” amount of money they would be able to raise over the next two years, and information on how much of it would come from public financial sources. 
  • In contrast, developing countries have only been “encouraged” to provide such information every two years on a voluntary basis.
  • The agreement also includes a mechanism to address financial losses faced by less developed nations due to climate change impacts like droughts, floods etc. However, developed nations won’t face financial claims since it “does not involve or provide a basis for any liability or compensation”.

Related articles:

  • US and Paris Agreement: Click here
  • Paris Climate Deal: India’s Progress, Pandemic and Challenges: Click here

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