Trump says U.S. May Reenter the Paris Agreement Under Different Terms
The U.S. may recommit to the Paris Agreement, the international accord dedicated to reducing global carbon emissions, suggests a remark President Trump made during a press conference on Wednesday.
“Frankly, it's an agreement that I have no problem with,” said Trump, “but I had a problem with the agreement that they signed, because, as usual, they made a bad deal.”
According to the United Nations, the Paris Agreement aims to keep the global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius by enabling international cooperation in order to effectively combat climate change.
However, the Trump Administration has reacted adversely to the mission of the accord. In addition to withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, many top White House officials also deny that human activity drives climate change, despite studies suggesting otherwise.
“The EPA and commissioners are very powerful in the sense that they want to have clean water, clean air, but we also want businesses that can compete,” Trump said at the White House press conference. “And the Paris accord really would have taken away our competitive edge. And we are not going to let this happen.”
Trump was joined by Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who rebuked Trump’s claim that the Paris Agreement would have dulled American industries’ “competitive edge.”
“If I might just add,” said Solberg, “that there are business opportunities in this.”
Norway, which is one of the 173 countries that signed onto the Paris Agreement, has already taken significant steps in reducing their carbon emissions. According to the Norwegian government’s website, 98 percent of electricity production derives from renewable energy sources, with hydropower being the main energy source.
“You should never miss up on a good environmental opportunity with good environmental standards,” Solberg said.
Trump announced his plan to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement last June, citing that the agreement undermined the U.S. economy by limiting fossil fuel industry development. His move was the latest in a series of reversals of landmark decisions under President Barack Obama, who heralded the climate accord during his administration.
Under Obama, the U.S. formally joined the Paris Agreement in September of 2016. The U.S. was a significant proponent of the deal, since the country emits the largest amount of carbon dioxide in the world, second only to China. Together, China and the U.S. produce more than 40 percent of the world’s carbon emissions.