President Donald Trump inches nearer to his final decision on the Paris climate accord, while all signs seem to point to U.S. withdrawal. If so, that would leave the U.S. in the company of Syria and Nicaragua, the only other nations not a party to the global agreement.
Amid headlines predicting an exit, Trump tweeted this morning:
I will be announcing my decision on the Paris Accord over the next few days. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2017
“We’ve obviously got a discussion going on about our policy in this regard,” Secretary of Defense James Mattis said. “I’m quite certain the president is wide open on this issue as he takes in the pros and cons of that accord.” White House press secretary Sean Spicer would not elaborate on when to expect the decision or whether Trump thinks human activity contributes to climate change. “I haven’t asked him,” he told reporters.
In the meantime, thought leaders and lawmakers continue to urge the president to keep the U.S. in Paris. (Read yesterday’s batch here if you missed out.)
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL-16): The Florida congressman joins others in his delegation to “strongly encourage the president to remain in the Paris climate accord.” In a statement, he wrote that “climate change is a serious issue, especially for a state like Florida that has two coastlines vulnerable to rising waters. Only Syria and Nicaragua are not part of the 197-country agreement, which lays out voluntary goals for reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Our withdrawal would send the wrong message to the world. Protecting the environment and growing the economy are not mutually exclusive. We should be doing everything we can to accomplish both.”
Corporate America: Business leaders weighed in with a full-page ad in support of the Paris agreement that appeared in major newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Interesting note, in 2009 Trump signed onto a similar ad calling for tough emissions targets in the Copenhagen climate conference. Separately, ExxonMobil chief executive Darren Woods sent a letter to the president urging that “by remaining a party to the Paris Agreement, the United States will maintain a seat at the negotiating table to ensure a level playing field so that all energy sources and technologies are treated equitably in an open, transparent and competitive global market so as to achieve economic growth and poverty reduction at the lowest cost to society.”
ClimateEye will continue to monitor this perpetually breaking news.