Trump and the Paris Climate Accord

Last Updated : June 02 2017

Trump and the Paris Climate Accord

US president Donald Trump announced on Thursday he was withdrawing the country from the Paris climate accord, fulfilling his campaign promise. The proclamation has drawn criticism from business leaders, politicians including former president Barack Obama and across section of world leaders.

He made the proclamation from the White House. Trump, however, said he was open to renegotiating some parts of the agreement. The Paris climate accord was inked under Barack Obama's administration. All nations, except two, have signed it.

Despite criticism of the move, Trump insisted he was fulfilling the will of voters who elected him. Business executives, foreign leaders and his own daughter, Ivanka Trump, heavily lobbied for him to remain part of the accord. But they finally lost out to conservatives who claim the accord is not good for the US.

Lengthy process

Trump, with triggering official withdrawal procedures, according to CNN, has sparked a lengthy process which will not end until November 2020, and this is going to become a hot topic of debate when the next presidential contest will he held the same month in 2020.

Trump, in his remarks, said he was open to re-brokering the country's carbon reduction commitments. However, he did not express any urgency in bringing the country back into the deal that he said put "draconian," financial burden on the (American) people.

Later, leaders of Germany, Italy and France in a joint statement indicated the US couldn't renegotiate unilaterally the agreement, while the UN body which facilitated the accord said it can't be renegotiated, based on the request of just one party.

White House officials, briefing reporters, would not specify what parameters may be acceptable to the president in a new agreement.

The accord was aimed to reduce carbon emissions by between 26 and 28 percent in ten years. The president announced also US is going to stall all contribution to United Nation's Green Climate Fund. He said this was costing the country so much money.

He added that he could not support a deal which is unfair to and punishes the United States.

Trump vigorously campaigned against Paris climate accord, promising to “cancel” the agreement. His aides said he was insistent on fulfilling his campaign promises, even though some members of his administration have urged him to remain in the accord.

A person familiar with the president's thinking, according to CNN, said Trump was convinced he needed to withdraw from the agreement, and there's little chance of convincing him otherwise.

And the move's opponents say it threatens to isolate the US in global effort to combat global warming, and leaves countries such as China to fulfill leadership void.

Criticism Galore

Former president Barrack Obama observed that this decision is going to leave American workers behind the countries who remain part of the pact.

The chief executive of Tesla, Elon Musk, who encouraged the president to remain in the accord, said he's going to resign from the White House business councils because of the decision.

Many foreign leaders have also criticized the decision, with some of them directly phoning him. These included Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister who said he was disappointed with this decision, while Emmanuel Macron, French president informed him the accord couldn't be renegotiated. China indicated it was sticking with her commitment to the acord.