The success of the Paris climate agreement depends on “negative emission technologies” that have never been demonstrated on a large scale. The authors of the agreement have built a time line for the withdrawal that President Trump must follow – which prevents him from irreparably harming our climate. It will be a dangerous decade for the only international climate treaty. The U.S. administration, which played an important role in breaking the agreement under President Barack Obama, will not be present Saturday. The Trump administration withdrew the United States from the Paris agreement. President-elect Joe Biden has promised to re-enter and get the United States back on track so as not to give more carbon to the atmosphere than is possible by 2050. To change this future, the climate target of the Paris Agreement, which is well below 2 degrees C, must be achieved. Global emissions must be halved by the next decade and net zero by the middle of the century, says energy economist Nebojsa Nakicenovic, former CEO of the International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA) in Austria. President Obama was able to formally enshrine the United States in the agreement through executive measures because he did not impose new legal obligations on the country. The United States already has a number of instruments on the books, under laws already passed by Congress to reduce carbon pollution. The country officially joined the agreement in September 2016, after submitting its request for participation.
The Paris Agreement was only able to enter into force after the formal accession of at least 55 nations representing at least 55% of global emissions. This happened on October 5, 2016 and the agreement came into force 30 days later, on November 4, 2016. The widespread failure to combat the existential threat of climate change has led more than 11,000 scientists from 153 countries to sign a “World Scientists” Warning of a Climate Emergency declaration. Whatever the report on climate promises, the statement begins: “Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to say it as it is.” The climate change landscape has changed in five years, and UN officials attribute both a cold and hard economy and a breakthrough for an idealistic younger generation.