President Donald Trump is expected to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate change agreement, undoing a landmark achievement of the Obama administration and signaling the U.S. will limit its cooperation with international efforts to stem global warming.
The president had said he would make a decision on the Paris accord this week. And now, Axios and Politico are reporting the president has decided to leave, though no official statement has been made. The decision marks a victory for the nationalist wing of the White House, led by advisers Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who is reportedly working out the details. It's a defeat for moderates who favored remaining in the deal, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn, and Trump's daughter Ivanka.
Ripping up Paris and other "bad deals" for America was a key campaign promise to supporters. The president has already abandoned the Trans-Pacific Partnership and signaled he will renegotiate NAFTA. But while withdrawal from the Paris deal may please Trump's base, leaving it will be complicated. There are three ways the U.S. can exit Paris, each producing very different policy and potential climate outcomes:
- Trump could simply announce that he's pulling the U.S. out of the deal, which would trigger a 3-year withdrawal process, during which time Trump would be allowed to change his mind.
- Or Trump could declare the Paris deal a treaty, which would then require two-thirds of the Senate to vote in support of it, and Senate Republicans would not let that happen.
- The third and most radical option would be a withdrawal from the deal that underpins the Paris deal, the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the treaty that sets the parameters on how other agreements, from the Kyoto Protocol to the Paris agreement, are to be negotiated.
Topics: climate change