The Paris climate agreement gives undue advantage to India and China at the cost of the Unite States’ interests, President Donald Trump said on Thursday, announcing America’s withdrawal from the pact.
The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020.
As of December 2016, 191 states and the European Union have signed the Agreement. 148 of those parties have ratified or acceded to the Agreement, most notably China and India, the countries with three of the four largest greenhouse gas emissions of the signatories total about 42% together.
The US now joins Syria and Nicaragua as the world’s only pull-outs in the 195-nation accord.
The US will remove itself from the deal. There will be no penalty for leaving, with the Paris deal based upon the premise of voluntary emissions reductions by participating countries.
“In order to fulfil my solemn duty to the United States and its citizens, the US will withdraw from the Paris climate accord, but begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accords or a really entirely new transaction, on terms that are fair to the United States,” the US president told press in the White House rose garden on Thursday.
“We will start to negotiate, and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair,” Trump said. “If we can, that’s great. If we can’t, that’s fine.”
“Thus, as of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris Accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country,” the President said. Carbon reduction targets that American set under Paris commitment aimed to reduce emissions by 26-28% in a decade.
The United States is the world’s second-largest carbon polluter and its bid to cut emissions so that global warming is limited to less than 2ºC is a critical part of the Paris agreement.
Together, the US, China and India are the top three carbon polluters in the world. Focus now shifts to what the US-less climate groupings will do.
Mr Trump did not give a timescale on withdrawal. However, under the agreement, a nation seeking to leave the pact can only give notice three years after the date it entered into force – 16 November 2016.
The process of leaving then takes another year, meaning it would not be complete until just weeks after the US presidential election in 2020.
America has stopped contributing to the Green Climate Fund set up under the Paris agreement to support developing countries meet their commitment. The Obama administration had committed $ 3 billion to the fund of which $1 billion has been transferred.
After US pulled out from the Paris Agreement citing its provisions being partial to India and China among other reasons, the UN Environment chief Solheim lauded both nations today for their strong leadership to combat climate change.
India and China are showing strong leadership to combat climate change and the decision by the US to withdraw from the Paris Agreement will not deter these global efforts, the UN Environment chief said today.
“The science on climate change is perfectly clear: we need more action, not less. This is a global challenge. Every nation has a responsibility to act and to act now,” UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Erik Solheim said in a statement responding to President Donald Trump’s announcement that the US will withdraw from the ambitious climate pact.
“The US decision to leave Paris in no way brings an end to this unstoppable effort. China, India, the European Union and others are already showing strong leadership. 190 nations are showing strong determination to work with them to protect this and future generations,” Solheim said in a statement.
The US withdrawal would not, though, derail global efforts to fight climate change, said Christiana Figueres, the former UN climate chief who delivered the Paris agreement. “States, cities, corporations, investors have been moving in this direction for several years and the dropping prices of renewables versus high cost of health impacts from fossil fuels, guarantees the continuation of the transition.”
In a bid to calm the frayed nerves of countries most at risk from rising temperatures, the EU, China and India announced an alliance to stay the course earlier on Wednesday. Their joint declaration called climate change a ‘national security issue’ and a ‘multiplying factor of social and political fragility.’ The Paris pact is a ‘historic achievement’ and ‘irreversible’, the document says.
Ms. Merkel, who welcomed the Chinese commitment as “encouraging,” has been a leader in the global push for climate action since 1992, when she played a crucial international role in the passage of the world’s first climate treaty, the Kyoto Protocol.
She pointed to future cooperation between Brussels and Beijing, making clear the similar intention in Europe to move ahead with potential partners to fill any vacuum created by Washington’s absence.
The Chancellor of Germany, Ms. Angela Merkel and India’s leader, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, pledged their support for the climate accord during meetings in Berlin on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain expressed her disappointment in a telephone call to Mr. Trump, according to a statement from her office. In the call, Ms. May reaffirmed her government’s commitment to the agreement, according to the spokesman.
“It is absolutely essential that the world implements the Paris agreement,” said UN secretary general Antonio Guterres. “If one country decides to leave a void, I can guarantee someone else will occupy it.”
“Climate change is the great existential threat of our time. The Paris Agreement was born out of effective multilateralism and a desire to find a cooperative solution to a global problem. No one country can dismantle the Agreement. While the US withdrawal weakens that international accord, it will not trigger its demise,” Chair of The Elders and former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said.