Trump Has Multiple Escape Routes From Paris Climate Accord

Pierre Vaugeois
Juin 1, 2017

"The EU and China consider the Paris agreement as an historic achievement further accelerating the irreversible global low greenhouse gas emission and climate resilient development", the draft document says.

Mr Trump faced considerable pressure to hold to the deal during meetings with European leaders and Pope Francis on his recent trip overseas.

The United States is the second-largest emitter of climate pollution behind China and ahead of Russian Federation and India.

The official told reporters that the European Union and China will also "spell out" how they plan to meet their commitments to the landmark worldwide accord to fight global warming at talks in Brussels tomorrow. They include Apple, Google and Walmart. And even then, the US must give a year's notice.

The Paris Agreement's Article 28 says any nation wanting to pull out has to wait three years from the date the agreement gained legal force, which was November 4, 2016, before seeking to leave. He said that even though "it looks like that attempt failed" ... the "law is the law".

During Trump's overseas trip last week, European leaders pressed him to keep the the landmark agreement.

That fight has played out within Trump's administration.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of ExxonMobile, has advocated for sticking with the agreement. Senior adviser Jared Kushner generally thinks the deal is bad but still would like to see if emissions targets can be changed. The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. Like the other officials, that person was not authorized to describe the private discussions by name and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

Trump yesterday declared that abandoning the Paris climate agreement would be a victory for the American economy.

In the past week, a number of world leaders, including Pope Francis, have urged Trump not to walk away from the accord.

The emissions goals are voluntary with no real consequences for countries that fail to meet them.

That Convention, seeking voluntary actions to rein in greenhouse gas emissions and a landmark in cooperation between rich and poor nations, has had bipartisan US support. The U.S. has agreed to reduce its emissions by 2025 to 26 percent to 28 percent of 2005 levels - about 1.6 billion tons.

In the worst case "the USA could make it more hard to adopt the Paris rules", said Daniel Bodansky, a law professor at Arizona State University.

News of Trump's expected decision drew swift reaction from the United Nations.

For more than a year, Chinese and European Union officials have been working behind the scenes to agree a joint statement on climate change and clean energy.

Tearfund's head of advocacy Paul Cook said: "World leaders need to uphold their commitments to prevent lives and livelihoods being hit hard by an unstable and changing climate".

"Our climate action strategy represents an opportunity to attract investment, innovation and develop new green technologies", he said. He calls the expected withdrawal "a big setback".

Trump claimed before taking office that climate change was a "hoax" created by the Chinese to hurt the US economy, an assertion that stands in defiance of broad scientific consensus. "Because coal jobs are not coming back".

Trump was responding to questions from reporters yesterday about whether he plans to withdraw the USA from the landmark global agreement, a major foreign policy legacy of his predecessor Barack Obama. Supporters of the deal say it's not an either-or choice.

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