Just the Facts

Five Facts on the International Paris Agreement

By Emma Petasis
May 2, 2019 | Blog

On Thursday, House Democrats passed the biggest climate legislation in a decade that prevents the Trump administration from exiting the international Paris Agreement aimed at global warming. 

1. The Paris Agreement has been signed by 197 countries and ratified by 185 in January 2019.

The Paris Agreement was created to improve and replace the Kyoto Protocol by reducing the emission of gases that contribute to global warming universally.[1]The goal is to prevent the global temperature from rising more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit.[2]

2. The United States also did not participate in the Kyoto Protocol. 

Created in 1997, the Kyoto Protocol was intended to bind all developed countries into reducing gas emissions. Neither China nor the U.S. participated in the protocol at this time, and the agreement was deemed ineffective since they are the two top emitting countries.[3]

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3. President Trump said the U.S. would withdraw from the agreement.

The president announced the U.S. would cease participation and withdraw from the agreement in 2017, but can’t officially do so until 2020.[4]Legally entered on November 4, 2016, the U.S. cannot initiate withdrawal until three years from that date. After the withdrawal in November of 2019, a year must pass until the withdrawal is complete.[5]If President Trump is not re-elected in 2020, another candidate could potentially re-enter the U.S. into the agreement. The only other sovereign countries that did not sign the agreement were Nicaragua and Syria

4. Countries are having trouble meeting their emission targets.

Britannica writes that in 2018 European Union officials stated that all of their member states were behind their targets, arguing that the U.S. policies were restricting them from meeting their goals. Only China has announced that it has met their targets, even reaching their 2020 target in 2017.[6]

5. The bill passed on Thursday is the Climate Action Now Act.

Passing 231-190, the bill would not allow federal funds to be used to withdraw from the treaty and would require the president to cut greenhouse gas emissions by about 28% in the U.S. by 2025. The bill is not expected to pass a Republican-controlled Senate.[7]


[1]https://www.britannica.com/topic/Paris-Agreement-2015

[2]Ibid.

[3]Ibid.

[4]https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/05/02/paris-climate-agreement-democrats-pushing-bill-stop-trumps-exit/3628956002/

[5]https://www.washingtonpost.com/energy-environment/2018/12/12/heres-what-election-means-us-withdrawal-paris-climate-deal/?utm_term=.a41df12439bb

[6]https://www.britannica.com/topic/Paris-Agreement-2015

[7]https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/02/politics/house-vote-paris-climate-agreement/index.html

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