By Spencer Showalter
In November 2017, more than 200 countries convened in Bonn, Germany for Conference of the Parties 23 (COP 23), the most recent in the yearly United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conferences. These meetings began in the 1990s with the creation of the Kyoto Protocol, a pioneering international agreement that set the groundwork for substantially reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. COP 23 was a notable meeting for two reasons. Firstly, it was the first meeting since the Trump Administration announced its intention to pull out of the Paris Agreement, the major outcome of COP 21. Secondly, COP 23’s main goal was to iron out the details of the Paris Agreement in order to continue to chase the international goal of limiting warming to under 2˚C (3.6˚F)—a goal that is already on tenuous ground. So, given that the US is not participating in the Paris agreement, what did the American delegation do at the conference? What were the outcomes of the conference?
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