What Trump got right in his decision to nix Paris
- Author: Zachary Reyes Jun 02, 2017,
Jun 02, 2017, 17:10
The United States never should have been in it in the first place, and it's not even entirely clear that it ever was.
Trump on Thursday said he was withdrawing from the deal, rejecting the advice of Mackenzie and many others, including his daughter Ivanka.
US allies voiced dismay over Trump's move, and France, Germany and Italy dismissed his suggestion that the global pact could be revised. Nicaragua balked because it found the deal's standards insufficient.
In a statement apparently prepared in anticipation of Trump's decision, Obama said: "It was steady, principled American leadership on the world stage that made that achievement possible.It was bold American ambition that encouraged dozens of other nations to set their sights higher as well.And what made that leadership and ambition possible was America's private innovation and public investment in growing industries like wind and solar - industries that created some of the fastest new streams of good-paying jobs in recent years, and contributed to the longest streak of job creation in our history".
On the campaign trail, Trump had called climate change a "hoax" perpetrated by China.
For anxious allies, Trump's rejection of the Paris pact is particularly jarring in the wake of his first global trip last week.
Trump did little to quell those concerns Thursday.
"As of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country", he said. For eight years the Obama White House waged a war on American energy producers, and they characteristically overstepped their authority by unilaterally entering into this agreement.
While some small miners have said the Paris agreement could add to costs and limit options for exploration, other major miners, like BHP, have published sustainability reports that have explored the risk that investors could turn away from coal mines.
But America can't pull out of the accord immediately. Hundreds of companies had lobbied the Trump administration to remain in the agreement. The group was formed in December to advise the president on job creation, and originally included Uber chief Travis Kalanick, too.
The rest of us just might think that the USA should not have to play by a different set of rules than rivals such as China and India.
Global leaders reacted with disappointment, even anger. "As someone who cares deeply about the environment, which I do, I can not in good conscience support a deal that punishes the United States, which is what it does", he said.
Since the election, administration officials have labored to explain that Trump does not intend to insulate the US from the rest of the world or leave allies in a lurch. Scott Jennings, a Republican strategist who worked for George W. Bush and is close to people in the Trump White House, said it's to be expected that the president sometimes is going to disagree with his top advisers, even if they are family.
Under the Paris agreement, negotiated during former President Barack Obama's tenure, the United States voluntarily committed to reducing polluting emissions by 1.6 billion tons by 2025.
The European nations that pushed for Trump to stay in the deal appear to be in little mood to help the president take credit for a getting a better deal.
The pact, which went into force in November 2016, is considered the world's most comprehensive plan to date for fighting climate change.
And supporters of the agreement in the USA, which was painstakingly negotiated under the Obama administration, argued that even if that was possible, the damage to America's reputation had already been done. Also with the country having to make strides to ensure access to electricity in every household, experts have said it's carbon allowance in Paris is reasonable.
Global leaders including the pope had pressed Trump not to abandon the accord.