U.S. Withdraws From Paris Agreement; 11,000 Scientists Warn of Climate Emergency

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U.S. Withdraws From Paris Agreement; 11,000 Scientists Warn of Climate Emergency

This week the Trump administration formally notified the United Nations that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Agreement. A day later, a report with 11,000 scientist signatories warned of “untold suffering” if humanity fails to change course on climate change.

Read our 3-Piece Primer to the Paris Agreement here.

The 2015 Paris Agreement, designed to hold nations accountable to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, is comprised of 197 countries. The United States is the only country to withdraw from the pact. Despite its formal notice, the withdrawal process will take a full year to complete.

The signatories of the scientific report come from 150 countries. Published by BioScience, a peer-reviewed scientific journal, the report declares an “unequivocal” climate emergency, writing that climate change is “closely linked to excessive consumption of the wealthy lifestyle” in affluent countries.

Despite its withdrawal, the United States remains on track to meet its Paris Agreement commitments, thanks to state and corporate efforts to meet the goals outlined in the accord. Yet what’s lost is the United States’ ability to nudge other countries to fulfill their national pledges.

Scientists argue that serious transformations are needed in how “our global society functions and interacts with natural ecosystems.” The report provides vital signs to assist policymakers, the private sector, and the public in their decision-making toward a sustainable future.

The year-long withdrawal process from the Paris Agreement will be complete on November 4, 2020, one day after the 2020 presidential election. If a future administration chooses to rejoin the Paris Agreement, it may do so after a one-month waiting period.



Hersher, Rebecca, “U.S. Formally Begins To Leave The Paris Climate Agreement,” NPR, November 4, 2019.

Ripple, William J.; Wolf, Christopher; Newsome, Thomas M.; Barnard, Phoebe; Moomaw, William R., “World Scientists’ of a Climate Emergency,” BioScience, November 5, 2019.

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