United Nations To Put Paris Climate Agreement Into Force Next Month So Trump Can’t Withdraw

Filed under: JUST IN CASE. Time Magazine reports:

The most comprehensive international agreement ever to combat man-made climate change will take effect next month, less than a year after negotiators from more than 190 countries reached a final deal on the issue, the United Nations said Wednesday.

The Paris Agreement commits participating countries to working to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and transparently reporting those results with the goal of keeping global temperature rise from pre-industrial levels below 2°C (3.6°F) by 2100.

The news that the agreement will take effect this year diminishes the chances that it can be undone by Donald Trump should he be elected president. Trump has called climate change a “hoax” and promised to scrap the deal. The document locks participants into the deal for at least three years and requires a one-year waiting period once a withdraw is announced.

A slew of countries acted quickly to join the Paris Agreement in recent weeks at least in part because of the Trump threat. The world’s three top emitter countries—China, the United States and India—all joined in September or October. The European Union pushed the accord past the threshold required for it to take effect this week. The agreement required 55 countries representing 55% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions to join before taking effect.

More from The Hill:

Most officials expected the climate deal, negotiated in December in Paris, to take effect no earlier than next year. A similar international climate accord, the Kyoto Protocol, wasn’t ratified for five years. But the specter of a Trump presidency appears to have spurred the deal along.

“His threat stimulated this rapid series of ratifications — China, the USA, Europe, and many others,” Robert Stavins, the director of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements, wrote in an email.

John Coequyt, the global climate policy director at the Sierra Club, said foreign leaders likely moved quickly to join the deal to close off any future debate over the need for international climate action.

“They want to be on the right side of the issue, and I believe that Trump showed the world that that isn’t a foregone conclusion,” Coequyt said, noting a summer study concluding that Trump would be the only head of state in the world to doubt the science behind climate change.

“I think having that idea out there, that the world still is debating this in some way, I think puts pressure on countries to act quickly, to solidify the process and continue to move forward.” Once the deal takes effect, the United States cannot back out of the plan — or force changes to it — for at least four years.