Fate of climate crisis hangs on election as US exits Paris agreement

Fate of climate crisis hangs on election as US exits Paris agreement
Donald Trump at the White House on 4 November. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: The US on Wednesday officially became the only country in the world refusing to participate in global climate efforts. This came in a situation when the result of the presidential election remains unclear even more than 15 hours have passed since the polls closed.

As of Wednesday, President Donald Trump has withdrawn the US from the Paris climate agreement, an international agreement to try to avert threat to shrink world food supplies, dangerous temperature increases that are already leading to more extreme weather and force millions to flee their homes and deprive many of basic human rights. Trump’s administration set the exit in motion a year ago, but it didn’t automatically take effect until 4 November.

The deal was meant to keep temperatures from rising more than 1.5C to 2C above the average before industrialization. The Earth is already more than 1C hotter than it was before industrialization, largely because of humans burning fossil fuels. This last year in the US alone has demonstrated how the climate crisis will touch the lives of every American, with more intense wildfires, record hurricanes, heatwaves, rising seas, floods and droughts.

Trump’s rival, Joe Biden, would immediately rejoin the agreement and push lawmakers to spend big on green infrastructure to try to reverse the economic downturn from the pandemic.

Should he win, however, the former Vice President’s ambitions may well be stunted by the US senate, which as of Wednesday morning appeared to be leaning towards remaining in Republican control.

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