President Trump Planning to Abandon Paris Climate Accord: Reports
President Donald Trump has said he’ll be providing his thoughts on the Paris climate deal in the coming days, but media outlets are already suggesting his take on the issue will be to leave it. Sources are claiming the president’s mind is made up and, to the surprise of no one, odds are good he will withdraw the U.S. from the deal.
Trump has already made it his mission to overturn as many Obama-related policies as possible and seems unconcerned with environmental issues that might stand in the way of potential manufacturing opportunities. Since taking office, Trump has been pushing regulators to rethink the United States’ auto emission guidelines, undoing one of the previous administration’s final acts in office.
Pulling out of the Paris accord would fulfill a campaign promise and negate the need for the U.S. to adhere to rigid emission standards — at the expense of further alienating the president from Europe’s leadership.
However, countries are not bound by an outside panel. The accord allows the 195 participating nations — 147 who have ratified — to set their own limits, under the assumption they will all make continued efforts to limit the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activities to a level nature can manage between 2050 and 2100.
It also places a strong emphasis on helping developing nations achieve their goals, something a protectionist politician may not care for. Trump has also been very clear on how he does not want regulatory interference handicapping manufacturing, especially as it relates to the automotive industry.
Unnamed senior officials familiar with his plan told CNN, Axios, and several other media outlets that the president’s mind is essentially settled on the matter. That assumption was further bolstered when he updated his favorite social media platform.
“I will be announcing my decision on the Paris Accord over the next few days. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” Trump tweeted on Wednesday. The slogan has become the president’s biggest tell, synonymous with undoing currently existing policies. If he says he’s about to make America great again, then you can rest assured he’s seriously considering rolling something back.
Then again, this came hours after his infamous and perplexing “Despite the constant negative press covfefe” tweet, something I have yet to decrypt. Considering the mystique deposited by those six words, perhaps Twitter is not the best dais for unraveling the president’s intentions.
If he does decide to pull out of the accord, he’ll have a few options on how to do it. The agreement stipulates a three-year waiting period before a country can give notice of leaving, which results in a June 2021 exit. Trump could abandon the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which would only take one year (but at the risk of massive political fallout). Alternatively, he could claim the agreement is a treaty requiring approval by the Senate and allow the Republican majority to do the work for him.
On Tuesday, Trump convened with Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt, who opposes the Paris deal. Today, he is scheduled to meet with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — who strongly supports it. While the majority of auto industry leaders have not publicly expressed their opinions, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has made it clear he is attempting to convince the president to keep the U.S. in the Paris accord. Musk also said he will withdraw from President Trump’s CEO council if the U.S. withdraws from the climate agreement.
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