The U.S. expected to rejoin the Paris Agreement in early 2021, bringing back the US leadership in climate action
On the day of the Climate Ambition Summit, President-elect Joe Biden confirmed his intention to rejoin the Paris Agreement on the first day of his presidency and to immediately start working on boosting climate action at the city, state and business level. A key question is whether the US will put forward an NDC that is consistent with Biden’s net-zero emissions pledge by 2050 and the Paris Agreement 1.5°C temperature limit. As of December 2020, the CAT rating of the US NDC remains ‘Critically Insufficient’ on account of its withdrawal from the Agreement on 4 November 2020.
On 4 November 2019, the State Department of the Trump Administration began the process of withdrawing from the Agreement. The request to withdraw from the Paris Agreement is a significant addition to the series of rollbacks in climate policy that could increase GHG emissions. This followed President Trump’s June 2017 announcement that the United States would pull out of the Paris Agreement. This was the first major step in his campaign to systematically walk back US federal climate policy, weakening efforts from the previous administration to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The CAT rates the U.S. as ‘Critically Insufficient’ on account of its withdrawal from the Agreement on 4 November 2020. The U.S. will remain in this section until such time as it rescinds its withdrawal and put forwards a strengthened NDC.