Trump administration begins official exit from Paris Climate Accord
The Trump administration said Monday that it has filed paperwork for the United States to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. This is the first official step towards the US withdrawal from the global pact on combating climate change, the whole process will take one year..
The move is part of President Donald Trump‘s broader strategy to reduce bureaucratic pressures on American industry, while academics and governments around the world are calling for swift action to prevent the dire consequences of global warming..
Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, the United States – the largest historic emitter of greenhouse gases and a leading producer of oil and gas – will be the only country outside the agreement.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed the move on Monday and indicated that the United States has cut emissions in recent years, even as energy production increases..
«The United States prides itself on its reputation as a global leader in reducing all emissions, increasing resilience, growing our economy and providing energy to our citizens.», – he said.
The European Union expressed its disappointment with this step.
«The United States‘ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement means that all the rest of us must expand our cooperation even further, Krista Mikkonen, the Environment Minister of the current President of the European Council of Finland, said on Tuesday. – We will continue to work with American states, cities and civil society to support climate action».
A French presidential administration spokesman accompanying President Emmanuel Macron on a state visit to China told Reuters: «We regret this and it only makes the Franco-Chinese partnership on climate and biodiversity even more necessary.».
On Wednesday, Macron and Chinese President Xi Jinping will sign a pact that will include a paragraph on «irreversibility of the Paris Agreement», the official said.
All high-profile Democratic presidential candidates seeking to topple Trump have pledged to renew their participation in the Paris Agreement if they win..
Obama administration signs 2015 pact pledging to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 20–28% by 2025 compared to 2005 levels.
Trump issued a statement revert that promise, saying it would hurt the US economy while other major pollutants like China would increase emissions. According to the rules, the United States had to wait until November 4, 2019 to apply to withdraw from the agreement..
Trump has already taken steps to roll back a number of Obama-era rules that limit emissions from the electricity sector, oil and gas drilling, and car exhaust. A report from the US attorney general says that abandoning the climate deal could increase US carbon emissions by more than 200 million tonnes per year by 2025..
Last year’s report by the US Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said it would take a little over a decade to quickly cut fossil fuel emissions and keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit)..
Beyond this warming threshold, the planet is likely to experience dramatic cascading effects of climate change, from rising sea levels to more frequent intense storms, droughts, floods and heatwaves, according to the report..
In the US, some democratic states and municipal governments have tried to enforce their own regulations to limit emissions and promote renewable energy sources such as solar and wind..
Alden Meyer, policy director of the Union of Interested Scientists, said states, cities and businesses, representing more than half of the US gross domestic product and population, remain committed to the goals of the Paris Agreement..
«Unlike the president, these leaders understand that cutting emissions create jobs and protect communities, while climate inaction poses a real threat to prosperity.», – he said.
Until its formal withdrawal, the United States will continue to participate in negotiations on the technical aspects of the agreement presented by State Department officials..
Former vice president and climate campaigner Al Gore said in a statement posted on Twitter: «No individual or party can interfere with our efforts to address the climate crisis. But those who try will be remembered for their complacency, complicity, and deceit in trying to sacrifice the planet for their greed.».
Gore, one of the Nobel Prize winners (with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) for his efforts to raise awareness of the climate crisis, described Trump’s policies as «reckless», but also noted that the process of withdrawing from the Paris agreement cannot begin until the 2020 elections.
«Even if [Trump] succeeds, it will take the new president only 30 days to get us back, Gore added. – This decision is ultimately in the hands of the voters».
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Called Trump’s Action «a disastrous decision that sells the future of our children».
Zhan Su, director of energy at the Climate Law Institute of the Center for Biological Diversity, said: «America is the number one historical culprit in the climate emergency that wreaked havoc on burning California, the flooded Southeast and the rest of the world.».
«The next president must pay off this extraordinary climate debt by quickly converting America to 100% clean energy and financing the decarbonization of the global South.», – said Su, referring to the developing world.