Following a whirlwind trip around the world to the Middle East and Europe, President Trump has a lot to chew on. From ISIS to the future of NATO and climate change. A lot of challenges were put before the President. Perhaps the biggest is the decision on whether or not to keep the United States in the Paris Accord on “Climate Change” and global warming.
President Trump has been skeptical of the deal. He met with EU leaders this week to discuss the future of the agreement. This morning he’s announced his decision-making process.
I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2017
The world will be waiting. If President Trump announces that the United States is withdrawing from the Paris Accords, then this could mean that the entire agreement is dead.
The other G7 Members (Canada, France, UK, Germany, Italy, Japan, the European Members) have made their decision on the Accords:
In communique – all the G7 nations except US reaffirm "strong commitment" to Paris Agreement on Climate Change. US reviewing its position.
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) May 27, 2017
What is the Paris Accord?
The Paris Accord (or Agreement) is a set of goals and guidelines agreed to by 195 countries across the world. Nations signed on to the accord at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, France. The accord calls for countries to reduce their greenhouse emissions. The agreement is mostly toothless. Individual nations can set their goals for emissions reduction. The only thing countries are bound to is reporting their efforts and goals for emissions reduction.
You can see the problem with this. It is not going to do anything. Countries are under no real obligation to reduce emissions; they only have to report that they’re trying. Another provision allows countries to buy and sell “mitigation outcomes” which is, in essence, a stock certificate for the amount of carbon dioxide a country can produce. The accord encourages nations to standardize and link various trading schemes. But, again, there is no actual mechanism for enforcement.
In theory, developing countries like China and India could buy up all the credits from smaller nations. Continuing to emit without any real reform.
President Obama considered it one of the crowning foreign policy achievements of his administration.
What will be Trump’s Decision?
During his campaign, President Trump said he would withdraw the United States from the Paris Accords. He says the Accord put too much pressure on American industry. However, he’s changed his mind on many foreign policy issues since taking office. The realities of being President often dictate a reversal of policy once you enter office This isn’t hypocrisy. This is a reevaluation based on facts that as a private citizen, Trump wouldn’t have knowledge of. Another factor that may lead him towards staying in the Accords is that his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, endorsed the measure while he was the CEO of ExxonMobil.
This will be one of the biggest decisions of Trump’s time in office. It is the biggest opportunity for him to separate himself from Obama.
Share your thoughts. Should American withdraw from the Paris Accord?