Trump will announce US withdrawal from Paris climate accord: document

Alain Brian
Juin 2, 2017

President Trump announced Thursday that the US will leave the Paris climate deal.

"As of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country", Mr. Trump said. During his campaign, Trump said he would "cancel" the Paris agreement and his administration has ordered cuts to funding for climate science.

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, who met with Mr Trump on Tuesday, has overtly advocated quitting a deal he judges "bad" for the US. "If we can, great". He, like most congressional Republicans and conservatives off Capitol Hill, contended the U.S. would sacrifice too much while competitors like China and India face less stringent, immediate restrictions.

In anticipation of a US withdrawal, European officials said China and the European Union will seek on June 2 to bolster the agreement by recommitting themselves to full implementation of the accord.

"The Accord", the document goes on to say, "was negotiated poorly by the Obama Administration and signed out of desperation".

Mr Trump's announcement in the White House Rose Garden capped days of speculation about whether he would fulfil his campaign pledge to "cancel" the deal, ratified by almost 200 nations in the French capital in 2015. Kerry accuses Trump of basing his decision on "alternative facts", calling it "one of the most disastrous shallow, untruthful decisions a president of the United States has made in my lifetime".

The accord, agreed on by almost 200 countries in Paris in 2015, aims to limit planetary warming in part by slashing carbon dioxide and other emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.

A dozen large companies including oil major BP, agrochemical giant DuPont, Google, Intel and Microsoft, have also urged Trump to remain part of the deal.

Tesla's founder, Elon Musk, threatened to quit White House advisory councils the president asked him to join if Trump pulls out.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis responded in a television interview on Sunday, assuring that Mr Trump was "wide open on this issue as he takes in the pros and cons of that accord". Trump was pressured heavily by his foreign counterparts during last week's G7 meetings in Sicily to remain in the deal, but his advisers say he felt little obligation to concede to that point of view.

"I am a transatlanticist".

Trump's decision came less than a week after he met with world leaders in Sicily, where closed-door discussions included pleas for the United States to stick to the consensus agreed to in Paris in 2015 and consummated past year.

Germany said the U.S. was "harming" the entire planet, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called the decision "seriously wrong".

Chinese premier Li Keqiang said in Berlin that fighting global warming is a "global consensus" and an "international responsibility".

The Paris Agreement is highly costly and would do close to nil to address climate change.

China has been investing billions in clean energy infrastructure, as its leaders battle to clear up the choking pollution enveloping its biggest cities, including Beijing.

As such, the nixing the Paris agreement became a rallying cry for rural America, congressional Republicans and nationalists within and without the Trump White House.

And former United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres, who helped preside over the talks to secure the agreement, said: "The real economy both in the U.S. and internationally must and will continue its decarbonisation trend, pulled much more strongly by market forces than held back by politics". Over time, the agreement's list of countries could dwindle.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors said it strongly opposed Trump's action and vowed to continue efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.

The 147 parties who ratified the convention set a goal of limiting global temperatures increases this century to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above levels from the pre-industrial era, defined as the years 1850-1900.

As part of Trump's decision, the USA will immediately halt contributions to the Green Climate Fund, a United Nations body that helps developing countries adopt climate-friendly policies.

In Mexico, former President Vicente Fox criticized Trump's move, saying on Twitter: "He's declaring war on the planet itself".

"I don't want anything to get in our way".

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