When President Trump was elected, 4RG anticipated that the US would not contribute anything useful to the development of international climate change policy and sound environmental measures over the next 4 years.
In fact the future effort to check climate change may be more seriously effected. We expect that tomorrow (or soon thereafter) the US will formally withdraw from the Paris Accord.
We don’t have any inside information but consider the following:
- In his Presidential campaign, Trump said he would rip up the Accord.
- Very recently he said the Accord was unfair. The US is contributing more to the Green Climate Fund than comparable large countries. Trump wants to stop this bleeding.
- The US participation in the meetings preliminary to this years COP conference has been miniscule and unhelpful. The inference is that there is no need to participate effectively in the COP process if the US is going to withdraw from that process, possibly even from the Kyoto Protocol.
- The US Environmental Protection Agency has been very active in developing climate change policy. The head of this Agency, Scott Pruitt, a climate change denialist, is pushing for withdrawal from the Accord. The latest Federal Budget has stripped this Agency of its resources, which much reduces its ability to participate meaningfully at this year’s COP meeting.
- Some Trump advisors claim that if the US does not withdraw from the Accord now, it will be legally committed to remain a party to the Accord and could not withdraw at a later time.
If, as anticipated, Trump’s decides to withdraw, he will re-emphasize that his policy is “America first”. He will justify his decision to US voters on the basis that this Accord is milking the US of large $$$.
There is still a small glimmer of hope: Canada must do everything possible to urge a return to sanity by American politicians. See “Nafta and Climate Change”.
Up Date May 10, 2017: Trump is engrossed in other matters (e.g. the dismissal of the FBI Director Comey). The White House Press Secretary suggests that Trump will announce his decision after the G-7 meeting scheduled for May 26-27 this month. The other members of the G-7 are all strong supporters of the Accord and the COP process, and possibly could influence his decision.