GOP senators want US to pull out of Paris climate accord
- Author: Larry Hoffman May 25, 2017,
May 25, 2017, 22:04
Trump has "got the right to get out", the senior administration official asserted.
Norwegian campaigners used the Paris Agreement to bolster their legal challenge lease sales to explore for offshore oil and sell a coal mine instead of decommissioning it. Missing in many of those debates, though, are the broad political and economic ramifications of backing out of the agreement. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said that the Trump administration is "leaning towards withdrawing the United States" from the pact.
When it comes to climate change, European and American attitudes differ sharply. The effects of that are being felt in all parts of the United Kingdom - most notably in flooding which, on top of the untold misery caused to those whose homes and belongings are damaged, already costs the United Kingdom taxpayer £1 billion per year.
Supporters of the pact argue that a USA withdrawal could prompt other nations to follow suit, undermining the deal that is the cornerstone of worldwide efforts to address climate change.
The accord's most ardent critics - US Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt and special presidential advisor Steve Bannon - are back in the US.
Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni raised the pact in his meeting with Trump, and newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron is also set to press the issue when he holds his first face-to-face meeting with the USA president.
Of course, there's also the bad optics of a global superpower abandoning its climate commitment, not to mention the billions of tons more carbon emissions it all but guarantees. "Our allies know how important USA leadership is for there to be acceptable world action". This will be particularly acute when it comes to USA relations with China. The almost 200 other countries that adopted the agreement will simply carry on without us.
Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists, explained to Gizmodo via email that the argument "already been has been debunked by any number of global legal experts, including several of those on the U.S. delegation who negotiated the Paris agreement".
The Climate Investment Funds pre-dated the most recent worldwide fund, the United Nations' Green Climate Fund. A USA withdrawal would "cede economic and moral ground to China" to appease fossil fuel interests at the expense of middle-class, he said.
"However, the USA is no longer the world's largest carbon emitter. The EU pledged to forge ahead with Kyoto despite USA withdrawal and, to the surprise of many observers, succeeded in bringing the protocol into force".
Finally, withdrawal is bad for USA economy. While campaigning for the presidency, Macron posted an online message to US climate scientists inviting them to "come to France" and work on innovation and climate technologies there. As a standout leader in innovation and technology, the United States should be at the head of the pack in developing new clean energy options and energy storage technology. Brown suggested the US would make progress to help protect against climate change. Thousands upon thousands of firms are ensconced in efforts to change their business plans and energy use to be competitive in what is broadly believed to be an inevitable and irreversible trend toward "de-carbonization" of the economy.
"We all feel the impacts of climate change", she said.
China has expressed its desire to take the lead in the battle against global climate change.
One issue appears to be whether Article 4.11 of the Agreement allows a party to weaken its INDC. But last month, at the G7 energy ministers' meeting, the United States declined to associate itself with such a statement, citing an internal policy review.