Musk to quit Trump advisory councils after Paris accord decision

Alain Brian
Juin 2, 2017

If Trump had stayed in, his administration could have helped articulate the next US commitment past 2025, and the United States could have been a part of negotiating how countries will report their emissions and how the program will be implemented in reality.

Many economists have big doubts.

U.S. supporters of the pact said any pullout by Mr Trump would represent an abdication of American leadership on a leading issue of our time and would show that the United States can not be trusted to follow through on global commitments. What's more, over the haul, climate change itself threatens to impose huge costs on the economy.

"We are convinced that the implementation of the Paris Agreement offers substantial economic opportunities for prosperity and growth in our countries and on a global scale", the three leaders said. "While specific environmental regulations can sometimes lead to job losses, they also can and do lead to job gains - with the result being roughly a wash". "Today the world meets the moment and if we follow through on the commitments this Paris Agreement embodies, history may well judge it as a turning point for our planet". Still, the withdraw push faced considerable setbacks including disagreement from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, chief economic advisor Gary Cohn as well as his daughter, Ivanka, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Trump's fellow G-7 leaders pressed him over the weekend to stay in the accord, and separately confirmed their own support for Paris.

When former President Barack Obama formally entered into the Paris Agreement in 2016, he did so as an "executive agreement" in which he didn't need Senate approval.

Trump said his administration will be open to a renegotiation of the deal. "We're going to make very clear to the world that we're not going to be abiding by what the previous administration agreed to", White House energy policy adviser Michael Catanzaro said in a statement.

Trump's announcement fulfils one of his campaign promises and plays well to his core Republican supporters.

Yes, the U.S. emits about a sixth of all global emissions, and its per-capita emissions are among the highest in the world. A 2001 study by Eli Berman and Linda Bui, both then at Boston University, found "no evidence that local air quality regulation substantially reduced employment" when Los Angeles imposed stricter environmental restrictions. "The agreement is a massive redistribution of United States" wealth to other countries", the President added.

The consortium also estimates that USA emissions would remain relatively flat if Trump succeeds at rolling back those Obama policies, increasing the country's total greenhouse-gas emissions by 400,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030, compared to previous projections.

"Until we do that, we are out of the agreement", he said.

"Countries all over the world are quite invested in the Paris Agreement", he said.

"As President I can put no other considerations before the welfare of the citizens", he said.

Several dozen countries have signed but not fully approved - including Iran, Turkey and, most significantly, Russia, which is a major emitter of greenhouse gases.

As for the mechanics of withdrawal, global treaties have a four-year cooling off period from the time they go into effect.

General Electric, for instance, plans to invest $25 billion in clean technology research and development by 2020.

Economists also warn that climate change could inflict a devastating impact on the global economy. Island nations - which face an existential threat from rising sea waters - had pushed hard for a target of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

"The United States of America is in the process of reviewing its policies on climate change and on the Paris Agreement and thus is not in a position to join the consensus on these topics".

The world is now on track for catastrophic levels of global warming.

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