In September of 2016, the United States and China, the two countries in the world that produce the most greenhouse gas emissions, agreed to cut back on emissions as a way to prevent further harm to the earth. Soon after, other countries—including Canada, India, and those that belong to the European Union—ratified the deal as well.
Barack Obama, the president of the United States at the time, claimed that the accord had many benefits. Mainly, the deal would provide “the best possible shot to save the one planet we got.”
Other people did not think the deal was beneficial. Naomi Klein, a journalist who frequently writes about the environment, called the deal “woefully inadequate.”
Donald Trump did not like the Paris Agreement, either. In 2017, when he became president, he vowed to withdraw America from the deal. Trump, alas, had different reasons for opposing the deal. According to Trump, Americans benefited from leaving the pact. In Trump’s view, the agreement compromised the sovereignty of the United States. Trump claimed that leaving the accord would save 2.7 million American jobs by 2025.
Mitch McConnell, the Republican senate majority leader at the time, applauded Trump’s choice to leave the deal. He, too, believed that departing from the agreement would benefit American workers.
The president right now, Joseph Biden, does not agree with Trump or McConnell. He thinks the consequences of leaving the agreement aren’t bad for Americans but for the environment and America’s place in the world. One of Biden’s first actions as president was to rejoin the Paris Agreement.