U.S. Begins the Formal Withdrawal Process from the Paris Agreement

On November 4, the State Department began the formal process of withdrawing the United States from the Paris Agreement. President Trump has vocally expressed his doubts about climate change in interviews and on his Twitter account. Back in June 2017, he expressed his intent to withdraw the United States from the landmark agreement that President Obama entered. The press release from the State Department cites the “unfair economic burden imposed on American workers, businesses, and taxpayers by U.S. pledges under the Agreement” as reason for the withdrawal.

Article 28 of the Paris Agreement discusses the withdrawal of any nation from the Agreement. According to paragraph 1 of Article 28, a party may withdraw from the Agreement at any time after three years from the Agreement’s entry into force. Withdrawal may be made by providing written notification to the Depository. According to paragraph 2, the withdrawal will take effect one year from the date of receipt by the Depository of the notification of withdrawal or by some later date specified in the withdrawal. The Paris Agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016; this is why the Trump Administration did not formally send the withdrawal notice until November 4, 2019. Based on the timing, the U.S. will officially withdraw from the Agreement before the inauguration of the winner of the 2020 Presidential election.

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