U.S. President Donald Trump has announced his intention to pull America out of the massive Paris climate deal, signalling a major blow to what may be the most important global agreement to curtail climate change ever devised.
Trump says the decision to nope out of 2015’s accord is based on the apparent needs of “the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers.” He believes they’ll all be unfairly impacted by the agreement’s pledge to curtail greenhouse gas emissions.
Instead of moving ahead with the agreement, which only counts Nicaragua and war-torn Syria among other abstainers, Trump says he’ll try and work out a new deal that holds America to a different standard.
“If we can, that’s great. If we can’t, that’s fine,” he says.
This is a huge deal for several reasons, not least of which being the fact that the United States would have contributed to a full 21% of emission reductions had they stayed the course.
It’s estimated that the U.S. alone pulling out will account for global temperatures rising by several tenths of a degree Celcius, which in itself is a huge goddamn deal, when the Paris accord was intended to cap the global temperature rise at 2 degrees Celcius above pre-industrial levels.
Former president Barack Obama has made a rare criticism of the Trump administration, saying that the U.S. “now joins a small handful of nations that reject the future.” He’s got skin in the game for other reasons – the Paris agreement was a huge diplomatic milestone during his time in office.
It’s also worth noting huge industrial players are ropeable here, too. The heads of IBM, General Electric, and Tesla have all criticised Trump’s decision as reckless and short-sighted.
For what it’s worth, Australia remains committed to upholding its end of the bargain – for now.