US to withdraw from Paris Climate agreement, Donald Trump says deal not tough enough on India, China

"As President I can put no other considerations before the welfare of the citizens," Donald Trump said after announcing that the US will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.

Written by Amitabh Sinha | New Delhi | Updated: June 2, 2017 10:10 am
donald trump, US paris agreement, US withdraws paris agreement, paris agreement, paris climate change agreement, paris climate change, paris accord, US paris agreement, world news, US news Trump said he was willing to work with Democrat leaders to reenter the Paris agreement on terms fair to the US. (File)

Confirming the worst fears, President Donald Trump on Thursday stunned the world with the announcement that the United States would withdraw from the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement that seeks to safeguard the planet from the increasingly disastrous impacts of climate change.

“In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord,” Trump, leader of the world’s second biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, said in one of the most nervously-anticipated announcements ever.

Trump said he will begin negotiations to “re-enter” the Paris accord or “an entirely new transaction”, on “terms that are fair to US, its businesses, its people, its taxpayers”.

“We are getting out, but we will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that is fair. If we can, that’s great. If we can’t, that’s fine,” he said.

Trump’s decision to withdraw means the United States will become just the third country to remain out of the Paris Agreement, the other two being Nicaragua and Syria, both of which, unlike the US, never joined.

Trump complained that while Paris Agreement posed “harsh economic restrictions” on the United States, it put no “meaningful obligations” on the “world’s leading polluters”.

“For example, under the agreement, China will be able to increase these emissions by a staggering number of years — 13. They can do whatever they want for 13 years. Not us. India makes its participation contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid from developed countries. There are many other examples. But the bottom line is that the Paris Accord is very unfair, at the highest level, to the United States,” he said.

“China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants. So, we can’t build the plants, but they can, according to this agreement. India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020. Think of it: India can double their coal production. We are supposed to get rid of ours. Even Europe is allowed to continue construction of coal plants,” he said.

The US decision jeopardises the carefully built and delicately balanced agreement that was the result of decade-long intense negotiations. The Paris Agreement asks each of its 195 member countries — 194 after US pull out — to make self-determined ‘contributions’ in the global fight against climate change, with the overall objective of restricting the rise of earth’s temperatures to within two degree celsius as compared to pre-industrial times. The United States had promised to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 per cent from 2005 levels by the year 2025.

Trump had criticised the Paris Agreement, which the United States under the eight years of Barack Obama administration had played a key role in negotiating, during his campaign trail and had promised to pull the US out of it, if elected. He had also described climate change as a ‘hoax’.

He talked about a conspiracy even on Thursday and claimed that the agreement was about “massive redistribution of United States wealth” to other countries.

“This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States. The rest of the world applauded when we signed the Paris Agreement, they went wild. They were so happy for the simple reason that it put our country, the United States of America, which we all love, at a very, very big economic disadvantage. A cynic would say the obvious reason for economic competitors and their wish to see us remain in the agreement is so that we continue to suffer this self-inflicted major economic wound. We would find it very hard to compete with other countries from other parts of the world,” he said.

To be sure, the Paris Agreement will not fall apart as a result of US withdrawal but there is a possibility of some other countries following suit or losing interest in the agreement objectives. In the absence of the United States, the biggest historical emitter, the Paris Agreement is also in danger of meeting the fate of Kyoto Protocol that has remained a major under-achiever. Kyoto Protocol is the climate treaty that Paris Agreement seeks to replace. Negotiated in 1997, the Kyoto Protocol is supposed to die in 2020. The United States was not a member of the Kyoto Protocol as well.

Besides the fact that the emission reductions from the United States are crucial to achieving the global targets, Washington’s ability to mobilise financial and technological resources to fight climate change are absolutely vital for the success of the Paris Agreement.

The US withdrawal, however, will not be immediate. Under the provisions of the agreement, a member country cannot withdraw for the first three years after ratifying it. After that period is over, the country must give one year advance notice to withdraw. It means, the actual exit would not happen until well after Trump’s current Presidential term is over.

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  1. M
    Mohan Tvm
    Jun 2, 2017 at 5:08 pm
    COP21 is NOT about saving environment. It is meant for control of vulnerable by a few elite groups. Ironically the leading proponents of COP21 like China and Germany are also the big polluters. But Trump has been squarely blamed for increasing the Global temperature. North Korea that is building weapons to blow up the world has also signed this hoax agreement, because of its good relations with China
    Reply
    1. K
      Kulmohan Singh
      Jun 2, 2017 at 11:48 am
      The richest beggar begging from the poorest
      Reply
      1. R
        RR
        Jun 2, 2017 at 10:54 am
        US is most unreliable and devilishly selfish nation like China. These two countries can never be relied upon. They are threat to world peace, climate and earth in total. There is a uter need to control climate change and pollution otherwise it is going to wipe our countries and civilizations in no time..and this foolish man is behaving like full time . Pathetic that americans choose such a mole as their president.
        Reply
        1. V
          Vernon
          Jun 2, 2017 at 10:44 am
          Trump is right
          Reply
          1. N
            Nalapogunev
            Jun 2, 2017 at 10:21 am
            Trump in way is tel the people who voted for him that he is implementing his promises. However little did the people know the conditions of Paris agreement. As I understood, the signatories of the treaty cannot opt out at least for the first three years. And then it takes another year for implementing that option. So to say USA will have to stay until 2020 and cannot activate its coal mines. Yet again the treaty does not allow a country to unilaterally back out. Now, does Trump would stay in power beyond this deadline is doubtful. So, I do not see any immediate set backs for the treaty and any gain for the US job market. It just made US look more 'nationalistic and less concerned about the world' in the eyes of other nations.
            Reply
            1. C
              chander
              Jun 2, 2017 at 10:12 am
              Donald Trump is aware that some corrupt politicians had incorporated carbon dioxide as a culprit for the global warming in the Paris Agreement. Coal is the least harmful smoke. Yes, burning the coal makes the sky cloudy and dirty. Carbon dioxide is relatively harmless when compared to the more toxic methane and nitrous oxide. Methane comes from landfill, the beef industry and petroleum extraction. Nitrous oxide is the result of nitrate and urea again from petroleum that are used in making explosives and fertilizer. These fertilizers are used in genetically modified (GM) crops used primarily in animal feed, again for the beef industry. These urea fertilizer when applied to farms also pollute the ground water from fertilizer run off. Carbon dioxide is required for plants which breaths in carbon dioxide and breaths out oxygen that we humans need. An honest Paris Agreement would require removal of carbon dioxide as the harmful gas and subs uting with methane and nitrous oxide.
              Reply
              1. C
                Centrist empiricist
                Jun 2, 2017 at 10:29 am
                Dude,excess CO2 would get trapped by ozone layer,increasing the global temperature....read some science
                Reply
                1. R
                  RR
                  Jun 2, 2017 at 10:56 am
                  It appears that U r a donlkey which was made to study some books and sit with some ch0out|ya people to get such information and write it here. When such uneducated epople r present in thsi world, who needs extra efforts to destroy the wor,ld?
                  Reply
                2. H
                  Harikrishnan
                  Jun 2, 2017 at 9:17 am
                  Trump before his election said that Global warming is a hoax. Now though the end result is same, he has made the reason for exit in a different way and what hw said is the absolute truth. The agreement as of today favours big countries like India and China. However he has not considered the reason for this. Countries like UK and USA have warmed the world to the present level due to their uncontrolled use of coal and other gas emitting fuels. Today they are developed countries and have money power to be able to afford fuel as more expensive solutions like Solar.
                  Reply
                  1. I
                    Indian2
                    Jun 2, 2017 at 9:11 am
                    Everybody knew, he is just dumb as ole though these s elected him. Now pay for it. Nothing better can be expected from like earlier administrations.
                    Reply
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