Trump announces US departure from Paris climate agreement

President Trump announced his intention to withdraw the US from the Paris climate pact in the name of putting Americans first. The decision will likely result in increased domestic emissions and possible alienation of the US by international allies who support the pact.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
President Trump announces the US withdrawal from the Paris climate change accord on June 1, 2017, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. The decision may distance the US from other members of the Paris agreement on the topic of climate politics.

President Trump said Thursday he was withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate agreement, striking a major blow to worldwide efforts to combat climate change and distancing the country from many allies abroad. He said the US would try to negotiate re-entry on better terms.

"As of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the nonbinding Paris accord," Mr. Trump said during a White House Rose Garden announcement. Suggesting renegotiating re-entry was not a major priority, he said, "If we can, great. If we can't, that's fine."

By abandoning the world's chief effort to slow the tide of planetary warming, Trump was fulfilling a top campaign pledge. But he was also breaking from many of America's staunches allies, who have expressed alarm about the decision.

Under former President Barack Obama, the US had agreed to reduce emissions to 26 percent to 28 percent of 2005 levels by 2025 – about 1.6 billion tons.

But Trump said the agreement disadvantaged the US "to the exclusive benefit of other countries," leaving American businesses and taxpayers to absorb the cost.

Scientists say Earth is likely to reach more dangerous levels of warming sooner as a result of the president's decision because America contributes so much to rising temperatures. Calculations suggest withdrawal could result in emissions of up to 3 billion tons of additional carbon dioxide in the air a year – enough to melt ice sheets faster, raise seas higher and trigger more extreme weather.

The US is the world's second-largest emitter of carbon, following only China. Beijing, however, has reaffirmed its commitment to meeting its targets under the Paris accord, recently canceling construction of about 100 coal-fired power plants and investing billions in massive wind and solar projects.

White House talking points obtained by The Associated Press said the Paris accord was "a BAD deal for Americans" and that the president's action would keep "his campaign promise to put American workers first."

"The Accord," the document went on to say, "was negotiated poorly by the Obama Administration and signed out of desperation."

"The US is already leading the world in energy production and doesn't need a bad deal that will harm American workers," it read.

The White House had signaled earlier in the week that withdrawal was likely, but Trump has been known to change his mind at the last minute on such major decisions.

White House aides were divided on the topic and had been deliberating on "caveats in the language" as late as Wednesday, one official said.
Associated Press writers Ken Thomas, Erica Werner, Vivian Salama, Michael Biesecker and Seth Borenstein in Washington contributed to this report.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.