Why did the US government leave the Paris Agreement? Explain benefits or consequences of it.

The United States decided to withdraw from the Paris Agreement because it was unpopular with many American conservatives who felt it would hurt the economy. Although the United States recently rejoined the Paris Agreement, there were still negative consequences of the withdrawal, as it damaged the American image abroad.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

On June 1, 2017, President Trump announced that the United States would be leaving the 2015 Paris Agreement. Due to various provisions and stipulations in this agreement on climate change, the United States was not able to fully and officially withdraw until November 4, 2020. However, President Biden rejoined the Paris Agreement shortly after he took office.

The decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement was largely a political one. Republicans and the Trump administration had long disparaged this international agreement. They claimed that it would lead to serious economic harm for the United States. Furthermore, many disputed the scientific community's consensus that climate change is manmade at all.

Many American conservatives felt that this agreement would hinder US industrial output by placing limits on it. Furthermore, its calls to phase back the use of fossil fuels stood in the way of Trump's campaign promise to support the coal industry. Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement also fell in line with Trump's reversals of many of Obama's executive actions surrounding green energy and other environmental policies.

The decision to withdraw had economic impacts. Coal producers said that withdrawing would lead to more reliable energy production and lower utility costs. Several foreign auto manufacturers worried that they would not be able to stay competitive in the US market, since their vehicles would still be in compliance with the agreement. However, many US auto and aviation manufacturers had already invested in making cleaner vehicles and vowed to continue to do so, even though they were no longer bound by the agreement.

Negative consequences to the decision to withdraw mostly had to do with what happened to the public image of the United States. The international scientific community was very vocal about the potential negative consequences. Many other nations expressed deep disappointment and concerns about the United States's withdrawal, and statements were issued by many world leaders publicly expressing their views on the matter. It also damaged the country's credit in taking part in future international agreements, since it became evident that any decision could be reversed when a new administration came to power.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial