Trump pulls US out of climate change agreement

The Washington Post reports:

President Trump announced Thursday afternoon that he is withdrawing the United States from the landmark Paris climate agreement, a move that honors a campaign promise but risks rupturing global alliances and disappointing both environmentalists and corporate titans.

But Trump said he would seek to negotiate a new climate deal that is, in his view, “fair” to America’s interests.

“In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord but begin negotiations to reenter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers,” Trump said.

“We’re getting out,” he added, “but we will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair. If we can, that’s great. If we can’t, that’s fine.”

Trump promised to pull out of TPP and the Paris agreement, and he has done both. All those who cheered him on for pulling out of TPP are probably less happy on this one.

I think he shouldn’t have pulled out of either.

The first is that the whole system of international agreements will fall down if everytime a country has a change of Government, they simply withdraw. It is incredibly hard to negotiate an agreement in the first place, and if there is little chance they will endure, then why bother.

Businesses want certainty about domestic and global rules.

In terms of what the other signatories to Paris now do, I think they should take their lead from the TPP countries – just carry on without the US. The US is going through an isolationist phrase, so let it. I doubt it will last for long, as when his protectionist policies start to hit consumers there will be a big backlash.

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