President Donald Trump has announced his plans to withdraw The United States from the Paris Climate Accord, a historic agreement signed by 174 countries in on Earth Day 2015. By making this move the administration will walk away from an agreement with nearly every country in the world, on one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century. Syria and Nicaragua are the only other non-participants. Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, used this executive powers to bypass a vote in congress to join the accord, and President Trump did the same to exit.
The Paris Climate Agreement aims to limit global temperature rise to two degrees celsius, and the United States represents 21% of the emissions the plan set out to cut. According to Climate Interactive, dropping out of the accord could mean dumping 3 billion more tons of carbon into the atmosphere, the equivalent of adding 640 million cars to the road every year.
The President made his announcement during a White House Press Briefing on June 1st claiming that “the accord is simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States, to the exclusive benefit of other Nations” Trump said, tapping into his “America First” campaign promise.
President Trump stated that his administration would begin to negotiate either re-entry into The Climate Accord, or a new agreement all together. Trump has said that he is open to these options “on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers.” In his address, President Trump expressed his discontent specifically with the deals that were cut for China and India under the agreement.
In a rare joint statement, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and French President Emmanuel Macron said that the agreement can not be renegotiated and urged their allies to hasten efforts to combat climate change.
Environmental concerns aside, pulling out of the climate accord could change how the United States is seen as a business partner on the international stage. The Paris Agreement was a deal based in good faith, and now America may seem like the kind of country you can’t make those kinds of deals with. That has serious implications for our national security and trade policy. However, Trump has explained how he views the risks of withdrawing are worth taking: “The Paris accord will undermine the economy [and] puts us at a permanent disadvantage”.
Several businesses including Exxonmobil, Shell Company, and Disney have all voiced their continued support for the accord, releasing statements that advise against leaving it. In contrast the President’s political party seems to be supporting his decision to walk away from the negotiating table. Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said that “the president is sending a clear message that we will no longer remain beholden to the burdensome international deals at the expense of our taxpayers”.
Ultimately President Trump has proven time and again that he will do whatever he sees is fit for the country and its people.