The United States should be leading on climate change, not retreating – EESI
As the United States (US) awaits the results of the Presidential election, the country has now formally withdrawn from the Paris Agreement, the only country to do so.
"While everyone is glued to cable networks and social media awaiting updates on the election results, we should not lose focus on the calamity of global climate change. The United States should be leading on climate change, not retreating" said Daniel Bresette, Executive Director, Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI).
Founded by a bipartisan Congressional caucus in 1984, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) is an independent, non-profit organization advancing innovative policy solutions for a cleaner, more secure, and sustainable energy path. EESI educates policymakers, builds coalitions, and develops policy in support of energy efficiency, renewable energy, sustainable biomass, sustainable buildings, and sustainable transportation.
While EESI’s strong relationship with Congress helps EESI serve as a trusted source of credible, non-partisan information on energy and environmental issues, it does not receive congressional funding and is supported through contributions and grants.
The Paris Agreement calls on the world’s nations to keep global warming significantly below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and to strive to limit the increase to 1.5 °C (2.7 °F). This would primarily be achieved by transitioning to cleaner energy sources and by promoting energy efficiency. With almost universal support from the world’s nations, the Paris Agreement entered into force in record time in November 2016.
Climate change is real and we are already feeling the effects of it across the United States. The longer we wait to get serious about climate change, the harder, more disruptive, and costlier it will be to curb temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. States and cities are doing their best to keep up, but we need the federal government to be part of the effort. We should be leading, but instead, we are retreating, said Daniel Bresette.
In 2017, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Agreement, and that withdrawal became effective on November 4, 2020, the day after the US presidential election. In the meanwhile, other major powers—including China, the European Union, Britain, Japan, and South Korea—have reaffirmed their commitments to the Paris Agreement and have set ambitious goals to become carbon neutral by 2050 (or 2060 in China’s case).
The United States formally withdrew from the Paris Agreement today, the only nation—out of 196—to do so. While everyone is glued to cable networks and social media awaiting updates on the election results, we should not lose focus on the calamity of global climate change, said Daniel Bresette.