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Trump Bids Paris Adieu!

In a much anticipated decision, saying it was a bad deal for America, President Donald Trump announced the United States was withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement 195 countries negotiated in December 2015.

At a June 1 press conference held in the Rose Garden at the White House, Trump kept his campaign promise to withdraw from the Paris agreement, which required the U.S. to cut its carbon dioxide emissions 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 and to provide billions of dollars in funding to a “Green Climate Fund” administered by the United Nations.

Numerous studies show meeting the carbon dioxide targets imposed on the United States under the Paris agreement would force the premature closure of many of the least expensive power plants nationwide. For instance, a study by NERA Economic Consulting cited by Trump estimated that if the United States met its carbon emission reduction obligations under the Paris climate agreement, it would cost the U.S. economy nearly $3 trillion, and the United States would lose 6.5 million industrial jobs by 2040, including 3.1 million in the manufacturing sector.

Trump also justified his decision by saying the Paris agreement allows major economic or geopolitical competitors like China, India, and Russia, among the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters, to continue growing their emissions, making their economies comparatively more attractive to investment than the United States. In contrast, the United States, which has already used technical innovation to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 12 percent since 2006, more than any other country, would have to continue cutting emissions.

Trump also noted the treaty would do little to prevent future warming. Talking points provided by the Trump administration after the press conference cited an MIT study showing if all member nations met their obligations, it would reduce global temperature rise by less than .2 degrees Celsius in 2100. The U.N. Environment Programme also found the treaty would have a negligible impact on climate change, with a 2016 report by it showing, even if all the parties to the agreement meet their promised emissions targets, the Paris agreement will result in less than half the greenhouse gas cuts required to halt temperatures at an upper limit of 2°C.

Craig Idso, founder and chairman of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change, lauded Trump for showing bold leadership by withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, stating, “President Trump stands alone on the world stage as the only true global leader willing to call a spade a spade. The Paris Climate Accord was less about saving the planet as it was about transferring wealth and ceding governing control from the U.S. to other nations of the world.”

Joe Bast, president of The Heartland Institute, praised Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement in a press release saying, “President Trump made exactly the right call by deciding to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Treaty. Staying in would make it impossible to implement his America First Energy Plan and result in U.S. taxpayers and consumers paying hundreds of billions of dollars in higher taxes and higher energy costs solely for the benefit of crony capitalists in the ‘renewable’ energy industry and Third World dictators. … Staying in would not benefit the global environment one whit, but instead, by impoverishing millions of people, would have exactly the opposite effect,” Bast said.

Tom Harris, executive director of the International Climate Science Coalition, said he hopes Trump’s decision to pull out of Paris has a ripple effect.

“Now the U.S. has withdrawn from the Paris climate agreement, I hope countries like my own homeland, Canada, follow America’s lead and put their citizens’ well-being ahead of the desires of anti-fossil fuel activists and big government bureaucrats.”

President Trump is a breath of fresh air in the White House, a president whose primary mission is to promote the interests of America as a country, and the aspirations of the American people as individuals. Trump rightly recognized the Paris Climate Agreement did nothing to promote a better environment and that hampering domestic fossil fuel use and production is a recipe for economic decline. Good riddance to a bad treaty!

 

— H. Sterling Burnett, Heartland Institute


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