The importance of USA rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement

The importance of USA rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement

Does the Paris Climate Agreement sound familiar to you? You may have been hearing it these days in the different mass media since Joe Biden, the new president of the United States, was expected to make effective the country's return to the Paris agreement, as one of his first measures.

Many people have been waiting for the promise Biden made before being elected to be fulfilled and, indeed, on January 20, 2021 at 9 p.m. US time, the president of the United States tweeted:

We’re back in the Paris Climate Agreement"

This means that the United States is back in the agreement that 196 are joining to cope with the climate change.

Biden Harris - Paris Agreement - it's logic blog

But the question is… What is the Paris Climate Agreement about? How important is that the United States has return to it?

The Paris Climate Agreement is a legally binding international agreement about the climate change. On December 12, 2015 there were 196 countries that sign this agreement in Paris with the intention of cooperate to curb among all the effects of the climate change.

The Paris Agreement has several goals that all the countries have to achieve, including the long-term temperature goal to keep the increase in global average temperatura to well below 2ºC (3.6ºF) above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5ºC (2.7ºF) recognizing that this would substantially reduce the risks and impacts of climate change. This should be done by reducing the emissions as soon as possible by the different countries in the agreement.  

To make all this work and to be able to avoid the terrible consequences of the climate change, all the countries have to work together and implement the appropriate measures. In particular, all the countries that generate the most greenhouse gas emissions. And here is where the United States comes in.

In June 2017, the former President Donald Trump decided to stop being part of the Paris Agreement and began the paperwork to exit the agreement, becoming effective in November 2020. Luckily, it didn't take long for Joe Biden to sign an executive order to return to the Paris Climate Agreement.

This fact is very important because the United States is the second country in the world, behind China, that emits the most CO2 into the atmosphere. In 2019, the CO2 emitted was more than 5 kilotons. This means, that a country of this size and with this capacity to emit these massive quantity of greenhouse gases cannot be out of an agreement that tries to fight climate change because no matter how much the rest of the world tries, if these countries do not get involved, we will not be able to reach the goals.

It is everyone's problem and the solution is in everyone's hands. Not just the governments, but the thousands and millions of people who vote for those governments.

This is a map and graphs with the ranking of the tons of CO2 emissions per capita in 2019, as well as the total emissions of each country.


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