In 2015, the United States and representatives from nearly 200 countries reached a landmark agreement to combat climate change and transition towards a low carbon economy at COP 21 in Paris. In the agreement, countries agreed to limit the rise of global temperature to below 2°C by 2100 and signal to global financial and energy markets a fundamental shift away from fossil fuels and towards zero-carbon energy. At the time of signing, then-President Barack Obama described the agreement as “a strong, enduring framework to set the world on a course to a low-carbon future”. However, in June 2017, President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement — creating a void in leadership at the federal level on climate change. Shortly after this announcement, mayors from 407 U.S. cities and more than a dozen states — representing 40% of the U.S. economy — committed to reducing fossil fuel emissions and achieving the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement in response to President Trump’s decision.
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