The United States left the Paris accord on Wednesday, becoming the first country to ever withdraw from an international climate change pact as the fate of its presidential election hangs in the balance.
It may prove to be a temporary blip before a Joe Biden administration rejoins the agreement. Otherwise, the global effort to rein in the Earth’s warming will have to proceed without the government of the world’s second biggest carbon emitter.
Either way depends on the outcome of a knife-edge US vote where both candidates have predicted victory.
Biden has proposed a $1.7 trillion-plan to take the US to net zero carbon emissions by 2050, while President Donald Trump has aggressively championed the fossil fuel industry, questioned the science of climate change and weakened other environmental protections.