Trump nearing decision on Paris climate deal

The Paris Agreement, which was spearheaded by former President Barack Obama and signed by 195 countries in April 2016, aims to fight climate change by reducing carbon emissions and limiting global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius.

"The impacts of climate change have already been felt in our states".

The summit in Brussels could mark a dramatic shift in global politics, with the European Union taking over from the United States in working with China to fight climate change.

Scientists say that the earth is likely to reach more unsafe levels of warming even sooner if the USA retreats from its pledge because America contributes so much to rising temperatures. "President Obama's climate agenda did little to improve the environment while doing much to hurt the economy".

If Trump follows through in withdrawing from the Paris Accords, the United States would join only two other countries that are not signatories: Nicaragua and Syria.

The Paris agreement required its signatories to pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The US is the world's second largest emitter of carbon, following only China.

Canada's commitments under the agreement are to reduce annual emissions to 30 per cent less than they were in 2005 by 2030. From his obtuse propping up of the coal industry, to the scrubbing of climate references from the EPA website, to the expansion of oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean - it is evident that the administration is hostile to any environmental measures that would impinge on the American fossil fuel industry. Even in more developed countries like the USA, environmental factors like poor air quality (which is associated with fossil fuel burning) have been linked with diminished medical outcomes that are exacerbated by income inequality and a lack of access to health care. Friends of the Earth said it would make America the world's "foremost climate villain".

A senior European Union official said the EU and China would reaffirm their commitment to the pact regardless of what Trump did, and spell out, during talks Friday in Brussels, how they would meet their obligations.

According to the language of the agreement, a party that has fully joined the accord, as the us has, can not formally withdraw for three years after the date of joining - and that is then capped by an extra year long waiting period.

"The big achievement of the Paris Agreement is that it was supported by all countries", he said.

Johan Rockstrom, director of the Stockholm Resilience Centre, said a USA presence in the Paris negotiations until 2020 would be "the most negative thing. they would still be allowed to vote in the room".

But with all that in mind, why does President Trump seem so committed to generating controversy by withdrawing from the Paris Accord in the first place? Chief strategist Steve Bannon supports an exit, while senior adviser Jared Kushner generally thinks the deal is bad, but would like to find a way to see if the US emissions targets can be changed.

Trump faced considerable pressure to hold to the deal during visits with European leaders and Pope Francis on his recent trip overseas.

Tearfund's head of advocacy Paul Cook said: "World leaders need to uphold their commitments to prevent lives and livelihoods being hit hard by an unstable and changing climate". Musk has come under fire for his proximity to the Trump administration - some people claimed they canceled their Tesla Model 3 orders because of his involvement in the councils.

A March Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll found that 50 per cent of Republicans agreed that the USA should lead the global fight against climate change, while 37 per cent disagreed and 13 per cent were unsure.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he would leave President Donald Trump's advisory councils if the U.S. withdrew from the Paris Agreement. Nearly 60% of Americans-and more than half in almost every congressional district-believe that climate change will affect people in the USA someday, according to last year's Yale survey, which created a statistical model based on survey data from 2008 to 2016.

  • Zachary Reyes