Donald Trump is telling his advisors that he is preparing to pull out of the Paris climate change agreement.
The President has already informed multiple people within the government – including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt – of his intention to withdraw the United States from the 200-nation climate change deal.
The agreement – signed by Barack Obama in 2016, went into effect in November. The stated goal is to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.
If he does, this would be the biggest unraveling of an Obama-era policy and may even cause the massive agreement to collapse.
If true, what he’s telling his advisors privately is different from his public statements. On Saturday, he refused to join other nations in pledging faithfulness to the agreement, and said he would make a final decision “next week.”
I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2017
However, it is consistent with a campaign promise to pull out of the accord and reverse most of Obama’s climate change initiatives.
Even though a decision has apparently already been made, it’s not that easy getting out. Axios reports:
Trump could announce he is pulling the U.S. from the deal, which would trigger a withdrawal process that wouldn’t conclude until November 2020 at the earliest. Under the deal’s terms, any country can’t send notice of its intent to withdraw until three years after the deal entered into force, which was Nov. 4, 2016. The actual process of withdrawal would then take one year. In this time, it’s feasible Trump could change his mind, the administration source said.
Trump could declare that the Paris deal is actually a legal treaty that requires Senate approval. Such a vote would fail, and then Trump would have Senate backing to not abide by the deal, which he deems a treaty. A letter that 22 Senate Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, sent to Trump this week urging him to withdraw from the deal, increases the odds of this happening, the source said. Trump could also call for a Senate vote in combination with either the first or third option.
Trump could withdraw the U.S. from the treaty that underpins the Paris deal, which is called the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This would be the most extreme option because it would take the U.S. out of all global climate diplomacy. This process would take just one year.
H/T: The Blaze