Since Trump`s announcement, U.S. envoys have continued to participate in UN climate talks as required to solidify the details of the deal. Meanwhile, thousands of leaders across the country have stepped in to fill the void created by the lack of federal climate leadership, reflecting the will of the vast majority of Americans who support the Paris Agreement. Among city and state leaders, business leaders, universities, and individuals, there has been a wave of participation in initiatives such as America`s Pledge, the U.S. Climate Alliance, We Are Still In, and the American Cities Climate Challenge. Complementary and sometimes overlapping movements aim to deepen and accelerate efforts to combat climate change at local, regional and national levels. Each of these efforts is focused on the U.S. working toward the goals of the Paris Agreement, despite Trump`s attempts to steer the country in the opposite direction. Concrete results of the increased focus on adaptation financing in Paris include the announcement by G7 countries to provide $420 million for climate risk insurance and the launch of an early warning and climate risk systems (CREWS) initiative.  In 2016, the Obama administration awarded a $500 million grant to the Green Climate Fund as “the first part of a $3 billion commitment made at the Paris climate negotiations.”  To date, the Green Climate Fund has received more than $10 billion in pledges.
In particular, commitments come from industrialized countries such as France, the United States and Japan, but also from developing countries such as Mexico, Indonesia and Vietnam.  The main challenge in designing a US NDC will be to reconcile the need and desire for greater ambition with the need to present a credible and sustainable NDC over time. The Biden campaign`s climate strategy aims for net-zero emissions by 2050, but it would be internationally counterproductive to present an NDC that the US cannot realistically achieve. That`s why it`s important that the U.S. NDC is firmly anchored in national climate policy. However, it will take some time for a new Biden administration to consult (with Congress, domestic stakeholders, and the international community) and develop and implement policies that could support an ambitious and sustainable NDC. The countries that will be most affected by the effects of climate change are low-lying countries that are particularly vulnerable to sea-level rise and developing countries that do not have the resources to adapt to changes in temperature and precipitation. But rich countries like the United States are also increasingly vulnerable. In fact, several million Americans â€” especially children, the elderly, and the poor â€” are already suffering from the wrath of climate change. While the swift passage of climate laws will help reassure allies that the U.S.
is seriously back in the climate fight and hopefully prompt other countries to take bold action, Gallagher stressed that the U.S. should be “modest” in its original approach. With a larger Democratic majority in the Senate, Biden would have a better chance of passing more ambitious climate legislation â€” a turn of events that could happen in 2022 when 20 Republican Senate seats are at stake. Carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane are gases that accumulate in the atmosphere and prevent heat from radiating from the Earth`s surface into space, creating the so-called greenhouse effect. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the leading international scientific body working on the issue, the concentration of these heat storage gases has increased dramatically since pre-industrial times to levels not seen in at least 800,000 years. Carbon dioxide (the main cause of climate change) has increased by 40%, nitrous oxide by 20% and methane by 150% since 1750 â€“ mainly from the combustion of dirty fossil fuels. The IPCC says it is “extremely likely” that these emissions are mainly responsible for the rise in global temperatures since the 1950s. At the same time, deforestation and forest degradation have also contributed to their fair share of global carbon emissions. The Paris Agreement reflects the collective belief of almost every nation in the world that climate change is humanity`s war to fight and exposes America`s climate skeptics â€“ including Trump â€“ as global outliers. Indeed, mobilizing support for climate action across the country and around the world gives hope that the Paris Agreement marked a turning point in the fight against climate change. We can all contribute by looking for ways to reduce contributions to global warming â€“ at the individual, local and national levels.
This effort will be worth rewarding with a safer and cleaner world for future generations. The authors of the agreement have built a timetable for withdrawal, which President Trump must follow â€“ and prevent it from irreparably harming our climate. As explained in this C2ES thematic letter, U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement can only be decided by the President, without, among other things, seeking the advice and consent of the Senate, as it drafts an existing treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. If Biden is president, he would have ample power to join him as an “executive deal.” The Paris Agreement has a “bottom-up” structure unlike most international environmental treaties, which are “top-down” and are characterized by internationally defined norms and goals that must be implemented by states.  Unlike its predecessor, the Kyoto Protocol, which sets commitment targets with the force of law, the Paris Agreement, which emphasizes consensus-building, allows for voluntary, nationally defined targets.  Specific climate goals are therefore promoted politically and are not legally linked. Only the processes that govern the preparation of reports and the consideration of these objectives are prescribed by international law. This structure is particularly noteworthy for the United States â€“ since there are no legal mitigation or funding objectives, the agreement is considered an “executive agreement rather than a treaty.” .