U.S. will exit Paris Accord, regardless of election outcome

Wednesday is when the United States will officially withdraw from the agreement.

Updated: November 3, 2020 - 11:55am

Regardless of the Election Day outcome, the United States is poised to officially exit the Paris Climate Accord on Wednesday.

America's exit from the accord was scheduled by President Trump with a letter last year. 

If President Trump wins a second term, the United States will remain absent from the accord; however, if Joe Biden is victorious, he has pledged to rejoin the agreement on his first day in office.

"Biden's challenge is not going to be the three months that the U.S. is out of the Paris Agreement, it's going to be coming up with new credible and ambitious climate targets," said Kelley Kizzier, an associate vice president for international climate at the Environmental Defense Fund. 

If Biden wins and rejoins the accord, the U.S. will have been absent from the agreement, for just three months. "It doesn't need to be more than a footnote in history depending on the result of the election," said Kizzier.

Whether the U.S. rejoins the deal, the country is not set to meet the  2025 targets set by the accord and agreed to under the Obama administration. Prior to the announcement that the U.S. would withdraw, President Trump told a group of supporters that the effort was "a total disaster."

Members of Trump's administration have called the Paris agreement "fraudulent, ineffective, and one-sided," complaining that it exerts pressure on the United States while not placing enough emphasis on emission reductions from major polluters China and India. 

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