The United States Withdraws From the Paris Agreement on Climate Change

2 June 2017
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Key takeaways

  • Yesterday, June 1, 2017, President Trump confirmed that he will carry out his campaign promise to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, which has been widely regarded as a watershed moment in the global fight against climate change. Even if the United States immediately provides formal notice of its intent to withdraw, withdrawal can only take legal effect four years after its entry into force, or November 4, 2020, notably the day after the next U.S. Presidential election.
  • Nevertheless, the decision isolates the United States from the 194 other countries that signed the Agreement. Since yesterday’s announcement, other countries have restated their strong support for the Agreement, but the withdrawal by the United States will still have negative implications for international climate policy.
  • U.S. businesses face even greater uncertainty, given the need to comply with Paris-driven regulations in the rest of the world, while simultaneously responding to potential attempts to roll back federal climate-related regulation in the United States. Increased and perhaps inconsistent proliferation of U.S. state-level regulation and litigation is also likely.