Trump announces USA withdrawal from Paris climate deal

Gwen Vasquez
June 2, 2017

President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement is a heavy blow to a deal that in many ways was created to ensure the participation of the United States, regardless of whether Democrats or Republicans control the White House.

In a rare statement on his successor's policies, Obama said: "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".

Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, said he would resign from White House business councils if Trump followed through.

Framing his decision as "a reassertion of America's sovereignty", he said, "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris".

The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Trump was favoring an exit, however, and was working out terms of the planned withdrawal with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, an oil industry ally and climate change doubter.

"We're getting out, but we're starting to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that's fair", Trump said from a press conference in the White House Rose Garden. "If we can, that's great".

Without mentioning the U.S. specifically, Mr Li said that "China in recent years has stayed true to its commitment", and pointed out that it was one of the first countries to ratify the 2015 Paris Agreement.

"Pulling out of Paris is the biggest thing Trump could do to unravel (former President Barack) Obama's climate legacy", Axios' Jonathan Swan wrote early Wednesday.

Reached at the end of 2015, the Paris deal was one of the most comprehensive climate change agreements ever passed; it is notable because it included countries like China, which pollute heavily but have not signed on to climate deals before. This includes ending the implementation of the nationally determined contribution and, very importantly, the Green Climate Fund, which is costing the United States a vast fortune, he said.

But what is the Paris Accord, and what does it mean to withdraw?

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Analysis by the Climate Interactive team said if the USA dropped out of the Paris Agreement and took no action, global temperatures could rise 0.3 degrees higher compared to if they stayed. Even fossil fuel companies such as Exxon Mobil, BP and Shell say the United States should abide by the deal. "We are are going to clearly pursue our goals in Europe, but we also want to continue our strong role in helping, especially in the developing world". For example, under the agreement, China will be able to increase these emissions by a staggering number of years- 13.

The European Union and China indicated they would press ahead with the deal, regardless of United States participation. "Believe me, we have massive legal liability if we stay in", Trump says.

"India makes its participation contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid from developed countries". There are many other examples.

A host of countries - from China to Germany - have committed to stay with the Paris Agreement regardless of whether the United States leaves it.

China, he said, will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants.

"At what point do they start laughing at us?"

According to the US President, in short, the agreement doesn't eliminate coal jobs. There are 2.6 million jobs in our country in clean energy.

Abandoning the pact isolates the US from a raft of worldwide allies who spent years negotiating the 2015 agreement to fight global warming and pollution by reducing carbon emissions.

Not leaving means Trump will have to respect the US's commitments to reduce emissions.Trump willabide by the structure laid out in the agreement, which means it could take the U.S. up to four years to actually leave. They went wild. They were so happy.

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