Donald Trump Reportedly Plans To Withdraw From Paris Climate Deal

President Donald Trump plans to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change, multiple outlets reported Wednesday.

 This would make the United States one of just three countries outside the historic pact to reduce planet-warming emissions.

Trump pledged during his campaign to “cancel” the deal, but delayed a decision for months amid a split in the administration on the issue. But in recent weeks, the camp opposing the accord seems to have convinced the president to abandon it ― despite few political advantages and harsh economic and diplomatic consequences.

Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that he will make an official announcement on the Paris agreement “over the next few days”:

In exiting the deal, Trump would have the support of the 22 Republican senators who last week wrote him a letter urging him to do so. But he would also face rebuke from many members of the business and environmental communities who have said the agreement offers an opportunity for global cooperation and consistent climate policies.

Under the terms of the deal, the U.S. cannot officially withdraw until November 2019. But even an announcement that the country is looking to leave the deal shows that the White House has no plans to meet earlier targets for slashing greenhouse gas emissions.

That much was already clear. In March, Trump ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to review the Clean Power Plan ― a sweeping regulation passed by former President Barack Obama to limit emissions from the utility sector, by far the country’s biggest emitter. The policy was already stayed by the Supreme Court in February 2016 as a result of a lawsuit filed by former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who is now Trump’s head of the EPA. Without the Clean Power Plan, the U.S. wouldn’t even come close to meeting its goals laid out in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Trump vowed to jumpstart the U.S. economy by eliminating environmental regulations he blamed for holding back companies. In particular, he positioned himself as a staunch advocate for fossil fuels, nixing climate change funding from his proposed budget and scrapping rules that discourage pollution and boost renewable energy. But, somewhat ironically, major oil, gas and coal companies ― along with a plethora of other big corporations ― urged Trump to keep the U.S. in the Paris Agreement.

Environmental groups have little legal recourse given that the Obama administration bypassed the Senate to ratify the deal, arguing it did not constitute a treaty. But the Trump administration is still required to regulate carbon dioxide emissions as a public health threat under a 2007 Supreme Court ruling. How it plans to fulfill that legal responsibility that is unclear.

Quitting the Paris Agreement strikes a major diplomatic blow to the U.S. Only war-torn Syria and Nicaragua, the second-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, are not included in the accord. Retreating from the agreement, which the U.S. took a lead role in brokering, brands the nation as a “rogue country” and a “climate pariah,” diplomats said. Without a seat at the table, the U.S. loses leverage over policy action on global warming, and cedes influence to rival superpower China, which has vowed to support poorer countries’ efforts to adapt to climate change.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres warned on Tuesday that U.S. rivals such as China, Russia and Iran would “fill the void” on climate action if Trump chose to withdraw.

“Who cares?” Myron Ebell, a top climate change denier who led Trump’s EPA transition team, told HuffPost on Tuesday. “If countries are moving in the wrong direction, I don’t think the leader of that movement has much to look forward to. It seems to me that President Trump has a chance to not only turn the direction of the country around but the direction of the world around. Good luck to China.”

Read the entire article at HuffPost.com