In DepthCLIMATE POLICY

Can U.S. states and cities overcome Paris exit?

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Science  09 Jun 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6342, pp. 1000
DOI: 10.1126/science.356.6342.1000

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Summary

President Donald Trump's announcement that his administration will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement has sent researchers scrambling for their calculators. While political analysts assess the diplomatic and domestic fallout from the decision to take the world's second largest emitter of greenhouse gases out of the deal, researchers are trying to determine just how much Trump's decision to abandon the Paris accord and roll back environmental regulations will damage efforts to cut U.S. carbon emissions. A new alliance of states, cities, and corporations has already vowed to help the United States meet the Paris reduction targets promised by former President Barack Obama, even without Trump's help. But the numbers suggest that the best efforts of these smaller actors will likely fall short. Although the United States is expected to come close to its 2015 Paris summit pledge to reduce emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020, Trump's rollback of Obama-era climate policies means it will likely fall very short of a pledge to cut deeper—26% to 28% below 2005 emissions—by 2025.