President Trump is withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate change agreement, which calls on countries to limit global warming by reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Marilyn Brown, Professor Brook Byers in the School of Public Policy at the Georgia Institute of Technology, explains the impact of Trump`s decision on the United States and the world and discusses the ramp-up of the carbon dividend plan. The Paris climate conference was held from 30 November to 12 December 2015. This was the 21st meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 11). Delegations from some 150 countries participated in negotiations for a new comprehensive and legally binding agreement on climate change. Sharon Dijksma, Dutch Environment Minister and President of the Council, and Maroé Efsovic, Vice-President of the European Commission, sign the agreement on behalf of the EU at a high-level ceremony in New York, USA. When a country completes its necessary internal procedures, it can file its “ratification, acceptance or approval” in which it gives its consent to obtain the agreement. It is a formal document indicating that it has completed all necessary processes and is now in a position to accede to the agreement as a contracting party. “membership,” the place where a country becomes a party to an international agreement already negotiated and signed by other countries. It has the same legal effect as ratification, acceptance and approval.
Membership usually takes place after the agreement comes into force, but it can also take place in advance depending on the terms of the agreement. Representatives of the Presidency of the Council and the European Commission have tabled the official ratification documents with the SECRETARy-general of the United Nations, who is the custodian of the agreement. The suspension of the first meeting would mean that the first meeting could last more than a year or, if necessary, several years before the work is completed in accordance with the timetable agreed by the parties to COP21. Under the UNFCCC, there is already a precedent for such procedures. The most notable was COP6, which was suspended in 2000 because the contracting parties were unable to reach agreement on key issues; in this case, the November COP in The Hague was suspended and resumed in Bonn in July 2001 (cop 6 bis). There is also a recent precedent within the ADP, which held only two meetings, each consisting of several parties over five years; the second meeting finally ended at COP21.