The US is currently one of the largest emitters of carbon dioxide in the world, so if President Trump was to pull the country out the landmark pact to reduce such carbon emissions it would be a major blow to global efforts to fight climate change.
Following a number of reports in US media about the move, Mr Trump tweeted that he would be announcing “my decision on the Paris Accord over the next few days” followed by his campaign slogan “MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!”
The Axios news website said the sources had “direct knowledge of the decision” made by the Republican billionaire, who has previously described global warming as a hoax perpetrated by China – also a large polluter.
As president, Mr Trump can withdraw from Paris on his own authority. The reason it was called an ‘agreement’ was to enable Barack Obama to use the president’s executive power to ratify it without having to seek the permission of the Republican-controlled Congress, which must ratify any international ‘treaties’.
The Trump administration must decide whether to begin the three-year withdrawal process stipulated by the Paris Agreement. or ditch the underlying United Nations treaty which would speed up the process.
The US delegation had to negotiate for several hours over complicated legal language the day the agreement was signed in December 2015. Part of the issue was that other countries were very concerned about the exact situation the world is now: a post-Obama administration catering to climate deniers in the US Congress that would be able to legally withdraw.
Mr Trump has ignored the advice of a string of senior advisers, including his own daughter Ivanka Trump, Defence Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who all advocated keeping ‘a seat at the table’.
Mr Mattis and others in the Department of Defence have noted that the Pentagon does a substantial amount of work addressing rising sea levels, changing sea routes for battleships due to melting glaciers, and the affects of drought and floods on US national security interests.
It could be a sign that he plans to further cut environmental regulations and attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions enacted by Mr Obama. Mr Trump’s proposed federal budget includes major cuts to the tune of nearly 30 per cent of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), however his planned $54bn increase to defence spending may cover some climate-related programmes depending on if discretion is granted to the Pentagon.
He also wants to cut the budget of the US Coast Guard, the maritime security agency, by a significant amount. The agency’s work also encompasses ocean conservation, marine life and endangered species protection, and some research.
The report of the apparent decision comes hours after the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the US to remain within the Paris Agreement, which seeks to limit global warming to as close to 1.5 degrees Celsius as possible.
So far the world’s average temperature has risen by just under one degree because of greenhouse gas emissions from human activity.
Donald Trump pull out of Paris climate accord original source
Donald Trump pull out of Paris climate accord