US officially becomes the only nation to leave the Paris Climate Agreement

The US has officially left the Paris Climate Agreement, a non-binding pact embracing nearly 190 nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and curb climate change.

The Trump administration began the formal process of exiting the Agreement on November 4 last year by filing the necessary paperwork to the United Nations. After a mandatory yearlong waiting period – while votes were being counted in a tight presidential election – the paperwork and renouncement were finalised.

This means the US is the only country to renounce the Paris Agreement after adopting it, The New York Times reported.

According to a report in Live Science, several countries, including Angola, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, South Sudan, Turkey and Yemen, initially signed the pact but never formally adopted it. With the U.S. exit, 189 nations remain that have both signed and adopted the pact.

“With our exit from the accord, we are among only a few countries worldwide not signed on to the global agreement,” Dr. George Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health Association, said in a statement.

“At the same time, the US is the second biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world,” following China.

“The health and environmental impacts of climate change are already here, and denying that reality and the science behind it will have devastating consequences,” he said.

 The remaining signatories of the Paris Agreement aren’t required to meet any specific requirements, Live Science explained. Again, the pact is non-binding.

Rather, participating countries voluntarily pledge to reduce their domestic emissions over time, setting their own targets and implementing their own policies to do so.

Source:  Live Science

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