An announcement has been made claiming that President Trump will pull out of the Paris agreement, in an attempt to undo the policies put in place by Barack Obama to restrict the emissions of greenhouse gases.
Myron Ebell, who took charge of Mr Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) transition team, and a climate change adviser to Trump, said that he will be pulling out of the prior agreement and an executive order is likely to come within days. He claimed that the US would “clearly change its course on climate policy”, and that Trump was “pretty clear that the problem or the crisis has been overblown and overstated”.
The Paris Agreement, which was signed on April 22, 2016, aims to “stabilise greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”. The agreement currently has 194 signatories, including the US. This announcement comes despite the fact that Trump claimed that he had an “open mind” on the climate deal back in November, just two weeks after his election victory.
Ebell, who is a long-time sceptic of climate change, told a briefing in London, “I expect Donald Trump to be very assiduous in keeping his promises, despite all of the flack he is going to get from his opponents. He could do it by executive order tomorrow, or he could wait and do it as part of a larger package. There are multiple ways and I have no idea of the timing.” He has also claimed that any efforts by Trump’s new Secretary of State to maintain the Paris deal “would be futile“.
Trump had previously made his thoughts on climate change clear, referring to it as a hoax that was invented by the Chinese, so this decision may not come as a huge surprise to many. The president has since promised to undo Obama’s climate action plan, and to defund the UN climate change work. However, when Trump was asked about the possible link between humans and climate change last year, he said that there was “some connectivity. Some, something. It depends on how much”.
Simon Rayner, the Friends of the Earth’s director of campaigns, said that if Trump were to pull the US out of the Paris deal, it would be “an act of utter contempt from Donald Trump towards the international community. Climate change is one of the biggest challenges the whole planet faces – and one the U.S must play its fair share in tackling. The warning lights are flashing: Theresa May must urgently stand up to Donald Trump and an environment and political agenda that is already causing huge harm.”
The co-leader of the UK Green Party, Jonathan Bartley, said that withdrawing the US would be a “bitter blow to the fight to save our planet, (but) the momentum we have gathered is unstoppable, and the Paris Agreement will continue in strength with or without Donald Trump.”