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6 Pages

Permanent US ratification of the COP21 agreements not a certainty

Permanent US ratification of the COP21 agreements not a certainty

Report summary

The COP21 Paris agreement requires ratification by at least 55 countries representing 55% of total greenhouse gas. Will the US lead by example and ratify the agreement? Politics and law will ultimately decide.

At issue is the definition of the word treaty and the unsettled nature of the limits to US presidential executive action. It is a near-certainty that President Obama will ratify the agreement. But it is equally likely that opponents will mount legal challenges to this action. Settling these conflicts includes a political component which complicates matters. The November presidential and congressional elections are key to the timing of resolution of this matter. They are also key to understanding the level of financial commitment the US will provide to global emission reduction.

We calculate the likelihood of permanent ratification of the treaty to be about 45% although there is a much smaller likelihood that Congress will fully fund the announced financial pledge.

What's included?

This report includes 2 file(s)

  • Permanent US ratification of the COP21 agreements not a certainty PDF - 340.09 KB 6 Pages, 2 Tables, 1 Figures
  • Decision tree prob.xls XLS - 88.00 KB


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  • The question
  • The arguments
  • Our analysis
    • Will the US finance the Green Climate Fund?
    • The next president, Congress and courts will determine the level of US support for COP21

In this report there are 3 tables or charts, including:

  • The question
  • The arguments
    • Permanent US ratification of the COP21 agreements not a certainty: Table 1
  • Our analysis
    • Simplified outcome decision tree for COP21 agreement ratification in the US
    • Ratification assessment probabilities
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