Wednesday, November 13, 2019
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USA will be withdrawing from Paris climate change agreement, Trump says

Donald Trum / Paris climate change agreement
Photo by Gage Skidmore

President Trump has announced that the USA will be withdrawing from the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The president made the statement today from the White House Rose Garden.

The international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions was made in 2015 and President Obama signed the USA on last November. The 143 countries that have ratified the agreement recognize a number of goals, which include limiting global temperature increases to less than 2 degrees Celsius.

Obama joined the Paris Accord without a vote from Congress, meaning Trump can abandon the climate change agreement without a vote as well.

Many begged Trump to keep the USA in, including 25 companies that penned an open letter published today in the New York Times. Yesterday, Elon Musk threatened to cease advising the president as part of Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum if he decided to drop USA participation in the Paris Accord.

The protocol for leaving, which the president says he’ll adhere to, could take four years to complete, meaning voters might be able to reverse the decision depending on who they elect to office in 2020. In fact, timing would put the US exit occurring on November 4, 2020, just one day after the next presidential election.Trump, per a source, will follow the 4-yr rule to get out of Paris, meaning the USA will leave on Nov 4, 2020.

Trump said in the statement that if the USA can renegotiate an entrance into the accord at terms more agreeable he would be willing to do so but added, “If we can’t, that’s fine.”

The president claimed that stipulations in the agreement were unfair to the US saying, “The Paris Accord is very unfair at the highest level to the United States.” He pointed to rules regarding coal production as being particularly disagreeable. “This agreement is less about the climate and more about others gaining financial advantage over the USA,” he said.

President Trump was expected to be bad news for the environment. And he’s already rolled back a number of protective environmental measures, including the Clean Power Plan and has proposed crippling budget cuts to necessary government organizations like the EPA. This move is just the latest in a series of dangerous decisions that could harm the environment for many years to come.

Reactions are already rolling in in response to the announcement. President Obama released a statement, saying that, “But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got.”

Amazon made a statement as well. “Amazon continues to support the Paris climate change agreement and action on climate change. We believe that robust clean energy and climate policies can support American competitiveness, innovation, and job growth,” said the company.

During the president’s statement Elon Musk also confirmed his departure from Trump’s advisory councils.

In withdrawing from the Paris climate change agreement, the USA will leave the ranks of more than 190 nations committed to the international deal and join Syria and Nicaragua as the only other countries that are not participating.

According to the announcement by President Trump,the USA will become the third country in the world to reject the pact, which is intended to slow the rate of global warming by reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Syria, in the midst of a civil war, wasn’t expected to sign the agreement and had no involvement with the 2015 negotiations.

Nicaragua denounced the global pact during the 2015 talks, citing concerns over the voluntary nature of the agreement and the lack of punitive measures in place for countries that violate the deal. The nation also balked at the agreement’s aim to limit the global temperature to 2°C, calling for a more ambitious target.

But the carbon emissions of both Syria and Nicaragua are far less than that of the USA, which means that America’s withdrawal could have far greater consequences.

Source: EnGadget

Photo by Gage Skidmore