by WorldTribune Staff, May 31, 2017
U.S. President Donald Trump has reportedly decided to make good on a campaign promise and pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement.
“Details on how the withdrawal will be executed” are being worked out by a small team including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, Axios reported on May 31.
The Trump team is mulling whether to initiate a full, formal withdrawal – which could take 3 years – or exit the underlying United Nations climate change treaty, which would be faster but more extreme, the report said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, and 21 other Republicans sent Trump a letter last week urging him to follow through on his campaign pledge to pull out of the climate accord.
Trump faced enormous pressure from European leaders and even the Vatican to keep the U.S. in the Paris Agreement.
The mistake many people made in handicapping whether Trump would pull the U.S. out of the climate pact was to think he would change his mind from his campaign promise.
“He’s been remarkably consistent on these issues,” said Tom Pyle, president of the conservative advocacy group American Energy Alliance, and a close confidant of the Trump administration. “It makes me very happy. I’m not a trade guy, I’m not a healthcare guy.”
Pulling out of the Paris Agreement “is the biggest thing Trump could do to unravel Obama’s climate legacy,” the Axios report said. “It sends a combative signal to the rest of the world that America doesn’t prioritize climate change and threatens to unravel the ambition of the entire deal.”
Former President Barack Obama had joined with nearly 200 nations in 2015 to voluntarily reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris accord.
Related: Trump’s break with G7 climate consensus caused melt-down in polite society, May 31, 2017
“Withdrawing would leave the United States aligned only with Russia among the world’s industrialized economies in rejecting action to combat climate change,” a May 31 Associated Press (AP) report said.
A senior European Union official, speaking to AP on condition of anonymity, said the EU and China would reaffirm their commitment to the pact regardless of what Trump did.
News of Trump’s expected decision drew swift reaction from the UN. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres insisted that “climate change is undeniable. Climate change is unstoppable. Climate solutions provide opportunities that are unmatchable.”
Sierra Club chief Michael Brune called the expected move a “historic mistake which our grandchildren will look back on with stunned dismay at how a world leader could be so divorced from reality and morality.”
Trump’s latest comment on the issue was sent on May 31 via Twitter: “I will be announcing my decision on the Paris Accord over the next few days. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”