President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris climate pact and that he will seek to renegotiate the international agreement in a way that treats American workers better. "So we are getting out, but we will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal, and if we can, that’s great. And if we can’t, that’s fine," Trump said Thursday, citing terms that he says benefit China’s economy at the expense of the U.S. "In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord, but begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accord or really an entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses" and its taxpayers, Trump said.
As Bloomberg reports, Trump’s announcement, delivered to cabinet members, supporters and conservative activists in the White House Rose Garden, spurns pleas from corporate executives, world leaders and even Pope Francis who warned the move imperils a global fight against climate change.
As we noted earlier, we should prepare for the establishment to begin its mourning and fearmongering of the disaster about to befall the world. Pulling out means the U.S. joins Russia, Iran, North Korea and a string of Third World countries in not putting the agreement into action. Just two countries are not in the deal at all - one of them war-torn Syria, the other Nicaragua.
# The Hill notes that many Republicans on Capitol Hill are likely to support pulling out of the Paris deal - 20 leading Senate Republicans, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) asked Trump to do just that last week. Withdrawing from Paris would greatly please conservative groups, which have orchestrated an all-out push in opposition to the pact.
“Without any impact on global temperatures, Paris is the open door for egregious regulation, cronyism, and government spending that would be disastrous for the American economy as it is proving to be for those in Europe,” said Nick Loris, a fellow at the Heritage Foundation.
"It is time for the U.S. to say ‘au revoir’ to the Paris agreement,” he said.
Trump wants his presidency to be about jobs and his decision to be viewed as an economic win for the United States.
A recent report commissioned by the oil industry-backed American Council for Capital Formation found that the deal would eliminate $3 trillion in GDP and 6.5 million jobs by 2040.
A Heritage Foundation paper last year didn’t go quite as far. It predicted that the agreement would prevent 400,000 jobs and cause a GDP loss of $2.5 trillion.
# As Bloomberg notes, although cast as a final decision, the announcement only prolongs uncertainty over the U.S. role in an agreement among almost 200 nations to address global warming. Trump is kicking off a withdrawal process that will take until November 2020 to unfold, creating an opening for him to reverse course and injecting it as an issue in the next presidential election.
Under the terms of the deal, the earliest the U.S. can formally extricate itself from the accord is Nov. 4, 2020, the day after the next presidential election. And Trump would have wide latitude to change his mind up until that point.
# Conservative groups quickly applauded Trump’s decision.
“By not succumbing to pressure from special interests and cosmopolitan elites, the president demonstrated he is truly committed to putting America’s economy first,” Michael Needham, the chief executive officer of Heritage Action, said in a statement.
# Environmentalists blasted the decision, saying it would turn the U.S. into an international pariah on climate change, even though it would not halt a global clean-energy revolution.
"The world has already resolved to act on climate, the renewable-energy industry is growing exponentially, and people all over the globe are becoming part of the clean energy future," said Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard. "Progress will continue with or without Donald Trump, but he is making it as painful as possible for people around the world."
# Finally, we notes that U.S. climate efforts won’t completely cease just because Trump is walking away from Paris. States including California, New York and Massachusetts continue to move forward with aggressive policies to cut carbon emissions.
*) Less than an hour after President Donald Trump said he would withdraw the US from the Paris climate pact and seek to renegotiate better terms for American workers, Italy, German and France have issued a joint statement saying the pact cannot be renegotiated.
"We deem the momentum generated in Paris in December 2015 irreversible and we firmly believe that the Paris Agreement cannot be renegotiated, since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economies," the leaders of the three countries said in a joint statement as reported by Reuters.
The three urged other world leaders to do more about climate change, and pledged to do more to help developing countries adapt, Reuters said...
In a story about what will happen to the Paris agreement without the US, Bloomberg reported that “like the wedding reception of a runaway bride, the Paris agreement is free to go on, just minus a pretty important player.”
US withdrawal doesn’t necessarily kill the agreement, since participation is voluntary. But without America's involvement, the global effort to cut emissions is even less likely to reach its targets. The US was also supposed to provide financial help to poorer nations to help them invest in renewable energy.
Trump said Thursday in a speech from the Rose Garden that he would withdraw the US from the accord while seeking a way to renegotiate a deal that's more fair to American workers.