Trump Admin Begins Official Withdrawal From Paris Agreement
President Trump confirmed Wednesday that his administration will start its official pullout from the 2015 Paris agreement, a long expected move that sacrifices the country's ability to be a leader in the fight against the global climate crisis.
Trump's withdrawal, which can officially begin on Nov. 4, is part of his "America First" policy, he argued at a natural gas conference in Pittsburgh, as Reuters reported.
"The Paris accord would have been shutting down American producers with excessive regulatory restrictions like you would not believe, while allowing foreign producers to pollute with impunity," said Trump, who was flanked on stage by workers in hard hats, as Reuters reported.
"What we won't do is punish the American people while enriching foreign polluters," he claimed, adding: "I'm proud to say it, it's called America First."
By the rule of law, the U.S. can submit to the UN a written intention to leave on Nov. 4. It can then officially leave, one year later, which will be one day after the 2020 election.
If the U.S. does withdraw, it will leave the U.S. and Syria as the world's only two countries not in the Paris agreement — the world's biggest economy and a war-torn nation. The Paris agreement is essentially a voluntary commitment from countries around the world to cut emissions. The Obama administration agreed to cut emissions 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, but the state department under Trump has not turned over any documents showing progress toward that goal, as The New York Times reported.
"I withdrew the United States from the terrible, one-sided Paris Climate accord. It was a total disaster," claimed Trump in his speech yesterday, as The Hill reported. "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris."
How a commitment from nearly 200 countries around the world is one-sided was not explained. However, environmentalists, policy makers and scientists quickly criticized the move, noting that leaving damages the ability of the U.S. to lead in the lucrative transition to cleaner energy, as Reuters reported.
"This is really a betrayal of the next generation," said Malik Russell, a spokesman for The Climate Mobilization, a youth-led environmental advocacy group, who added that the decision was insanity, as the The New York Times reported.
"President Trump's anti-science stance that climate change is not a serious threat demanding meaningful action puts the profits of fossil fuel polluters above the health and well-being of current and future generations," said Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists and a leading expert on the United Nation's international climate negotiations process, in a statement. "It also impedes the ability of American companies and workers to compete with other countries like China and Germany in the rapidly expanding market for climate-friendly technologies."
"Fortunately, no other country is following President Trump out the door on Paris," he added.
The original agreement to cooperate to curtail a mounting crisis was rejected by Nicaragua, a poor central-American nation, because the agreement did not go far enough to slash emissions. Nicaragua subsequently joined in 2017, saying it was the only available instrument that has a unity of intentions to face the climate crisis and natural disasters, as Reuters reported.
"It will take some time to recover from this train wreck of U.S. diplomacy," said Andrew Light, a former State Department official during the Obama administration and currently a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute, as Reuters reported.
- World's Biggest Companies to Trump: Stay in Paris Agreement ... ›
- 22 Awesome Responses to Trump's Announcement on Paris ... ›
- Trump's Paris Withdrawal: 'One of the Most Ignorant and Dangerous ... ›
- U.S. Now Officially Out of the Paris Climate Agreement - EcoWatch ›
England's Somerset county can now boast its first beaver dam in more than 400 years.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Alex McInturff, Christine Wilkinson and Wenjing Xu
What is the most common form of human infrastructure in the world? It may well be the fence. Recent estimates suggest that the total length of all fencing around the globe is 10 times greater than the total length of roads. If our planet's fences were stretched end to end, they would likely bridge the distance from Earth to the Sun multiple times.
Early advertisement for barbed wire fencing, 1880-1889. The advent of barbed wire dramatically changed ranching and land use in the American West by ending the open range system. Kansas Historical Society / CC BY-ND
The authors assembled a conservative data set of potential fence lines across the U.S. West. They calculated the nearest distance to any given fence to be less than 31 miles (50 kilometers), with a mean of about 2 miles (3.1 kilometers). McInturff et al,. 2020 / CC BY-ND
- 'This Is Not Like a Fence in a Backyard' — Trump's Border Wall vs ... ›
- New Border Wall Construction Threatens 8 Species With Extinction ... ›
Climate change is making ancient Hopi farming nearly impossible, threatening not just the Tribe's staple food source, but a pillar of its culture and religion, the Arizona Republic reports.
- These Are the Challenges Facing India's Most Sacred River ... ›
- Oil Spill Causes 'Major Disaster' for Ganges River Dolphins ... ›
By Kenny Stancil
An expert panel of top international and environmental lawyers have begun working this month on a legal definition of "ecocide" with the goal of making mass ecological damage an enforceable international crime on par with war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.
- Are the Amazon Fires a Crime Against Humanity? - EcoWatch ›
- 'Her Work Will Live On': Climate Movement Mourns Loss of Ecocide ... ›