Trump administration poised to make Paris climate exit official

By Valerie Volcovici WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration will file paperwork with the United Nations as early as Monday to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, marking the first formal step in a one-year process to exit the global pact to fight climate change. The move would leave the world's largest historic greenhouse gas emitter as the only country outside the accord, a decision President Donald Trump promised early in his term to unfetter America’s domestic oil, gas and coal industries.

Reuters November 05, 2019 03:11:06 IST
Trump administration poised to make Paris climate exit official

Trump administration poised to make Paris climate exit official

By Valerie Volcovici

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration will file paperwork with the United Nations as early as Monday to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, marking the first formal step in a one-year process to exit the global pact to fight climate change.

The move would leave the world's largest historic greenhouse gas emitter as the only country outside the accord, a decision President Donald Trump promised early in his term to unfetter America’s domestic oil, gas and coal industries.

"What we won’t do is punish the American people while enriching foreign polluters,” Trump said at a shale gas industry conference in Pennsylvania on Oct. 23, referring to his planned withdrawal from the agreement.

The United States had signed onto the 2015 pact during the Obama administration, promising a 26-28% cut in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 from 2005 levels.

Trump campaigned on a promise to rescind that pledge, saying it would unfairly hurt the U.S. economy while leaving other big polluters like China to increase emissions. But he was bound by U.N. rules to wait until Nov. 4, 2019 to file the exit papers.

The State Department is expected to submit the letter to United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, starting the clock on a process that would be completed just one day after the 2020 U.S. presidential election, on November 4, 2020.

By Monday afternoon, no letter had been submitted. Officials for the White House and the State Department did not comment on when the paperwork would be filed.

All of the top Democratic presidential hopefuls seeking to unseat Trump in next year's election have promised to re-engage the United States in the Paris Agreement if they win.

But Trump’s withdrawal from Paris could still leave a lasting mark, said Andrew Light, a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute and former adviser to the U.S. climate envoy under President Barack Obama.

"While it serves the political needs of the Trump administration, we will lose a lot of traction with respect to U.S. influence globally,” he said, adding it could take time for the international community "to trust the U.S. as a consistent partner."

Until its formal exit, the United States will continue to participate in negotiations over the technical aspects of the agreement, represented by a small team of career State Department officials.

The United States and China, the world’s two largest carbon emitters, have recently been leading negotiations of the Paris "rule book" that outlines transparency and reporting rules for signatories.

(This story corrects fourth paragraph to show the U.S. emissions cut pledge under the Paris Agreement was for 2025, not 2030)

(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.