June 2, 2017
With President Trump announcing that he will be pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement, we at Stanwich Energy Advisors think it is important for everyone to stay knowledgeable and conversational about the content of the agreement. Here are some key takeaways of the agreement, which was signed in December of 2015:
- All countries but Nicaragua and Syria (and now the United States of America) agreed that something needs to be done about climate change, and that it needs to be done quickly. The goal of the agreement is to hold the increase in the global average temperature to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, with an aim at limiting that to an increase of only 1.5°C.
- Each country in the agreement sets their own greenhouse gas reduction targets. They acknowledged that those targets do not currently go far enough, but agreed to meet again in a few years to set better targets.
- The motivating factor for countries to meet their goals is that the agreement includes public reporting on which countries did and did not meet their reduction goals.
- In principle, but not in detail, they agreed that prosperous countries would financially help developing countries meet their reduction targets and grow their economies in ways that are not carbon-intensive.
During an announcement in the White House Rose Garden, Trump said he would withdraw the US from the deal and begin a process of negotiating a different deal. Trump said this could include re-entering the Paris deal if the US could renegotiate its commitments.
“It is time to exit the Paris accord and time to pursue a new deal that protects the environment, our companies, our citizens and our country,” Trump said. “The US is already leading the world in energy production and doesn’t need a bad deal that will harm American workers,” the White House said in a series of talking points distributed ahead of Trump’s comments. In a 25-minute speech, Trump said the climate deal “punishes” the US , “handicaps” the US economy, puts jobs at risk and benefits European and Asian trading
partners who will be allowed to expand their coal sectors as the US shutters its own. He added that the accord would do little to improve the environment. “We will be environmentally friendly, but we ‘re not going to put our businesses out of work, we ‘re not going to lose our jobs, we ‘re going to grow, we ‘re going to grow rapidly,” Trump said.
Trump also stated that he was willing to work with Democratic leaders to either negotiate the US “back into Paris under the terms that are fair to the United States and its workers or to negotiate a new deal that protects our country and its taxpayers.”
For a deeper dive into the agreement, please visit this extensive NYTimes article from December 12, 2015, or you can view the Paris Agreement document in its entirety by clicking here.