Last week, the President announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord negotiated in 2015. The Paris Climate Accord was signed by 195 Parties and ratified by 146 countries plus the European Union.
However, the accord was not ratified by Congress and therefore was not subject to the Constitution’s Treaty Clause (Art. I, § 2, cl. 2).
Under the accord’s provisions, any party may withdraw from the Agreement under Article 28, following a three year period which falls on December 12, 2018. The Paris Climate Accord provided that signatories provide a plan for carbon reduction by 2020, providing nationally determined contribution reductions to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) program.
Upon the President’s withdrawal announcement, the Secretariat stated the UN “regrets the announcement by the President of the United States that his government will withdraw from the Paris Climate Change Agreement”, but noted that the Secretariat “stands ready to engage in dialogue with the United States government regarding the implications of this announcement. The United States similarly signed the 1992 Kyoto Protocol addressing climate change, which includes carbon reduction commitments through 2020 but did not ratify the treaty. Please click here for a copy of the Kyoto Protocol. Canada withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, but the United States remains a signatory.
For those interested, the Paris Climate Change accord can be found here.
For more information, contact Steve O’Day.