Protesters object to America's withdrawal. Perhaps its because others will have to pay for it now?
Protesters object to America's withdrawal. Perhaps its because others will have to pay for it now?

President Donald Trump announced on June 1 that his administration planned to pull out of the Paris Accord because it was not benefiting the American people.  

Although the U.S. can’t officially back out of the agreement until 2020, Trump is making it clear that the U.S. will “as soon as it is eligible to do so.”

Two months ago, Trump promised to renegotiate a better deal for the U.S.  

“I don’t want anything to get in our way. I am fighting every day for the great people of this country,” said Trump, who also said it was his “solemn duty to protect America and her citizens.” 

He also said that the accord was “less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States.” 

Under the current terms, all nations confined to the agreement are not allowed to withdraw until November of 2020 and can’t formally notify the United Nations until 2019.

But Trump announced that the country would be leaving the Paris accord to the world for a reason. It looks like this is part of a plan for more bargaining power.

“This is to inform the Secretary-General, in connection with the Paris Agreement, adopted in Paris on December 12, 2015 (“the Agreement”), that the United States intends to exercise its right to withdraw from the Agreement. Unless the United States identifies suitable terms for re-engagement, the United States will submit to the Secretary-General, in accordance with Article 28, paragraph 1 of the Agreement, formal written notification of its withdrawal as soon as it is eligible to do so,” wrote the State Department to the UN. “Pending the submission of that notification, in the interest of transparency for parties to the Agreement, the United States requests that the Secretary-General inform the parties to the Agreement and the States entitled to become parties to the Agreement of this communication relating to the Agreement.” 

Not to mention, the U.S. will be attending the next UN meeting in Bonn in November.

“The United States will continue to participate in international climate change negotiations and meetings, including the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP-23) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, to protect U.S. interests and ensure all future policy options remain open to the administration. Such participation will include ongoing negotiations related to guidance for implementing the Paris Agreement,” wrote the State Department in a media release.

“The secretary general welcomes any effort to re-engage in the Paris Agreement by the United States,” said Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for UN secretary-general António Guterres.  

Not every country is on board for a re-negotiation though.

"We deem the momentum generated in Paris in December 2015 irreversible and we firmly believe that the Paris Agreement cannot be renegotiated since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economies," said the leaders of Italy, France and Germany in a rare joint statement in response to Trump’s June 1 announcement.  

Author’s note: Unfortunately for those Paris accord supporters, it looks like there is no way the U.S. will remain unless there are drastic changes made in the current agreement. The problem with this agreement is it puts a significant burden on countries involved, but it doesn't do a good job of solving the problem. Trump has made that clear to the UN, which has plenty of time to think about how important the U.S.’ participation will be. Will the agreement be as legitimate without our support?  

Editor's Note: It was always a crappy deal putting more burden on America than its share, with little effect on the biggest polluters in the developing world.

 


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