- The Washington Times - Monday, November 4, 2019

The Trump administration formally filed the paperwork Monday to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, the first day it legally could take the step.

The move leaves the U.S. as the only country not taking part in the agreement to limit greenhouse gases, fulfilling a campaign promise that Mr. Trump made in 2016 to bolster American energy production and prevent what he considers self-inflicted harm to the economy.

The formal process of exiting the climate deal, which had been championed by former President Barack Obama, will be completed on Nov. 4, 2020 — a day after the 2020 presidential election. All of the top Democratic presidential candidates have promised to rejoin the Paris agreement if they’re elected.

Mr. Trump announced his intention in 2017 to pull out of the climate agreement, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the administration had sent a withdrawal letter to the United Nations on Monday.

“President Trump made the decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement because of the unfair economic burden imposed on American workers, businesses and taxpayers by U.S. pledges made under the agreement,” Mr. Pompeo said. “The United States has reduced all types of emissions, even as we grow our economy and ensure our citizens’ access to affordable energy.”



U.S. emissions of “criteria air pollutants that impact human health and the environment” declined by 74% between 1970 and 2018. U.S. net greenhouse gas emissions dropped 13% from 2005-2017, “even as our economy grew over 19%,” Mr. Pompeo said.

Greenhouse gas emissions are expected to have risen in 2018, with the federal Energy Information Administration saying that energy-related emissions climbed 2.8%.

The U.S. under Mr. Obama signed onto the pact in December 2015, pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 26% to 28% by 2030.

But Mr. Trump has repeatedly criticized the agreement for tying the hands of U.S. industry while allowing heavy polluters such as China and India to increase emissions. China is the biggest producer of greenhouse gas, with the U.S. second and India third.

At a shale gas conference last month in western Pennsylvania, Mr. Trump said the Paris accord would “punish the American people while enriching foreign polluters.”

Democrats and environmentalists redoubled their criticism of Mr. Trump’s move Monday, predicting it would accelerate global warming, rising seas and other destructive forces of nature.

“The growing climate crisis is the existential threat of our time, jeopardizing the health and well-being of every family in every community around the world,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat. “President Trump’s shockingly reckless decision to formally pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement is yet another disastrous anti-science, anti-government decision that sells out our planet and our children’s future.”

She said the overwhelming majority of the American public demands “bold action to fight the climate crisis,” and she pledged that House Democrats will “develop innovative solutions to combat the climate crisis.”  

“We have no time to waste,” Mrs. Pelosi said.

Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the administration “has once again thumbed its nose at our allies, turned a blind eye to the facts, and further politicized the world’s greatest environmental challenge.”

“This decision will go down as one of the worst examples of President Trump’s willful abdication of U.S. leadership and concession of power over the global economy to China, India and others,” he said.

Karen Orenstein, deputy director of economic policy at Friends of the Earth, said the Paris climate agreement needs to be more ambitious “when the U.S. has more sane leadership and rejoins the international community.”

Donald Trump is more concerned about protecting his golf courses than he is about climate change-fueled flooding that could threaten 300 million people living in coastal areas by 2050,” she said. “World leaders must not wait for Trump, and must not use his moral bankruptcy as an excuse for inaction. The rest of the world must implement the Paris agreement without the United States.”

Opponents of the climate agreement to limit greenhouse gases say it would harm the U.S. economy while failing to hold China and India to the same standards.

Myron Ebell, director of Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment, praised Mr. Trump “for keeping his most important deregulatory campaign promise and looking out for the country’s best interests.” He said it will enable the U.S. to “reclaim its sovereign right to set its own energy policy.”

“This is a great day for America, particularly for the future economic success and security of countless Americans,” Mr. Ebell said.

Until its formal withdrawal, the U.S. will continue to negotiate technical aspects of the agreement. The U.S. and China are leading negotiations of the pact’s rules for transparency and reporting by the 195 signatories.

Mr. Pompeo said the U.S. approach to the issue of climate change “incorporates the reality of the global energy mix and uses all energy sources and technologies cleanly and efficiently, including fossils fuels, nuclear energy and renewable energy.”

“In international climate discussions, we will continue to offer a realistic and pragmatic model — backed by a record of real world results — showing innovation and open markets lead to greater prosperity, fewer emissions, and more secure sources of energy,” he said.

 

The move leaves the U.S. as the only country not taking part in the agreement to limit greenhouse gases, fulfilling a campaign promise that Mr. Trump made in 2016 to bolster American energy production and prevent what he considers self-inflicted harm to the economy.

The formal process of exiting the climate deal, which had been championed by former President Barack Obama, will be completed on Nov. 4, 2020 — a day after the 2020 presidential election. All of the top Democratic presidential candidates have promised to rejoin the Paris agreement if they’re elected.

Mr. Trump announced his intention in 2017 to pull out of the climate agreement, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the administration had sent a withdrawal letter to the United Nations on Monday.

“President Trump made the decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement because of the unfair economic burden imposed on American workers, businesses and taxpayers by U.S. pledges made under the agreement,” Mr. Pompeo said. “The United States has reduced all types of emissions, even as we grow our economy and ensure our citizens’ access to affordable energy.”

U.S. emissions of “criteria air pollutants that impact human health and the environment” declined by 74% between 1970 and 2018. U.S. net greenhouse gas emissions dropped 13% from 2005-2017, “even as our economy grew over 19%,” Mr. Pompeo said.

Greenhouse gas emissions are expected to have risen in 2018, with the federal Energy Information Administration saying that energy-related emissions climbed 2.8%.

The U.S. under Mr. Obama signed onto the pact in December 2015, pledging to cut greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 levels by 26% to 28% by 2030.

But Mr. Trump has repeatedly criticized the agreement for tying the hands of U.S. industry while allowing heavy polluters such as China and India to increase emissions. China is the biggest producer of greenhouse gas, with the U.S. second and India third.

At a shale gas conference last month in western Pennsylvania, Mr. Trump said the Paris accord would “punish the American people while enriching foreign polluters.”

Democrats and environmentalists redoubled their criticism of Mr. Trump’s move Monday, predicting it would accelerate global warming, rising seas and other destructive forces of nature.

“The growing climate crisis is the existential threat of our time, jeopardizing the health and well-being of every family in every community around the world,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat. “President Trump’s shockingly reckless decision to formally pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement is yet another disastrous anti-science, anti-government decision that sells out our planet and our children’s future.”

She said the overwhelming majority of the American public demands “bold action to fight the climate crisis,” and she pledged that House Democrats will “develop innovative solutions to combat the climate crisis.”

“We have no time to waste,” Mrs. Pelosi said.

Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the administration “has once again thumbed its nose at our allies, turned a blind eye to the facts, and further politicized the world’s greatest environmental challenge.”

“This decision will go down as one of the worst examples of President Trump’s willful abdication of U.S. leadership and concession of power over the global economy to China, India and others,” he said.

Karen Orenstein, deputy director of economic policy at Friends of the Earth, said the Paris climate agreement needs to be more ambitious “when the U.S. has more sane leadership and rejoins the international community.”

Donald Trump is more concerned about protecting his golf courses than he is about climate change-fueled flooding that could threaten 300 million people living in coastal areas by 2050,” she said. “World leaders must not wait for Trump, and must not use his moral bankruptcy as an excuse for inaction. The rest of the world must implement the Paris agreement without the United States.”

Opponents of the climate agreement to limit greenhouse gases say it would harm the U.S. economy while failing to hold China and India to the same standards.

Myron Ebell, director of Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment, praised Mr. Trump “for keeping his most important deregulatory campaign promise and looking out for the country’s best interests.” He said it will enable the U.S. to “reclaim its sovereign right to set its own energy policy.”

“This is a great day for America, particularly for the future economic success and security of countless Americans,” Mr. Ebell said.

Until its formal withdrawal, the U.S. will continue to negotiate technical aspects of the agreement. The U.S. and China are leading negotiations of the pact’s rules for transparency and reporting by the 195 signatories.

Mr. Pompeo said the U.S. approach to the issue of climate change “incorporates the reality of the global energy mix and uses all energy sources and technologies cleanly and efficiently, including fossils fuels, nuclear energy and renewable energy.”

“In international climate discussions, we will continue to offer a realistic and pragmatic model — backed by a record of real world results — showing innovation and open markets lead to greater prosperity, fewer emissions, and more secure sources of energy,” he said.

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