With U.S. President Donald Trump confirming Thursday that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, what will it mean for global efforts to curb carbon dioxide levels and limit global warming?
The agreement, aimed at cutting the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, saw almost 200 countries come together in 2015 and set targets to reduce emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.
The Obama administration committed the U.S. to reduce their emissions by 21 per cent over the next 15 years – over a fifth of the total pledged reduction.
The U.S. is the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, making up 13.9 per cent of the total carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere yearly.
With its withdrawal, the U.S. has joined Syria and Nicaragua as the only countries not party to the Paris agreement, and the only one of the top-10 emitters not involved.
China, the world’s top polluter, announced its commitment to the agreement Wednesday, forming an alliance with the EU to accelerate efforts to reduced global carbon emissions.
Although Canada makes up a relatively small portion of yearly greenhouse gas emissions, our emissions per capita are significantly higher.
Canada is ranked ninth of the top-10 emissions producers, but are the top producer per capita, approximately 6 per cent higher than the United States, and a full 19 per cent above the world average.