President-elect #Donald Trump’s transition team said they are investigating ways to quickly exit the Paris Climate Agreement, where roughly 200 countries pledged to cut carbon dioxide emissions. Now a Trump source inside the transition team is filling in the missing gaps on how they plan to dismantle President #Obama’s job-killing #Climate Change legacy. Governments have been wondering out loud since Trump won the historic U.S. election if his administration would remain faithful to the climate accord. Other countries have reiterated their support for the Paris accord as climate talks continue in Marrakesh, Morocco.
China, the top emitter of greenhouse gases, currently gets a blank check until 2030 at which point it has to start cutting emissions or leave the accord altogether. So far China has ramped up coal production and pledged a “20 percent increase in coal-powered energy capacity by 2020.”
Exiting the climate accord
Trump once tweeted climate change was a “hoax created by the Chinese to make U.S. manufacturing less competitive.” He also promised to exit the climate accord (known as Clexit) and to stop sending money to the United Nations’ climate refugee fund. According to the insider, leaving the accord would involve a four-year-long procedure using diplomatic routes.
The source told Reuters it was reckless for countries to rush and ratify the Paris Climate Agreement before the results of the U.S. election were complete. Many did so out of fear of a Trump victory. The accord came into effect on Nov. 4, four days before the election. Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking from New Zealand, said the Obama administration would work as quickly as possible to get as much of the climate accord into action before Jan. 20, 2017.
Article 28 and the waiting game
Article 28 of the climate accord says that any country that wants to pull out must wait four years. That means Trump could exit the climate accord on Nov. 4, 2020, but since the accord is legally non-binding, he may have other options.
One such option is not participating in the UNFCCC, an international climate framework that gave birth to the Paris accord. By exiting from both, Trump’s team could hasten 'Clexit.' The U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (or UNFCCC) was ratified by the senate under former President George H.W. Bush in 1992.
Letting the senate vote on accord
The UNFCCC’s primary goal was to avoid “heat waves, downpours, floods, extinctions of animals and plants and rising sea levels” caused ostensibly by climate change. But the new Paris accord is even more ambitious: it requires the elimination of net greenhouse gas emissions by 2100 and to keep “warming to below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6°F) above pre-industrial times.”
Myron Ebell, heading up the EPA’s transition team, said they’ll likely present the Paris agreement to the senate for possible ratification. Since it will fail, Ebell said a 'no' vote would legally withdraw the U.S. from the agreement. Trump has also said he would halt any money going to the U.N. Green Climate Fund and redirect it toward America's infrastructure. Of the 200 countries who have signed the accord, only 109 have formally ratified it, just enough so it goes into force.
The UN seems to have high opinion of its abilities. Actual headline at Climate summit in Morroco: 'World Meets in Marrakesh To Save Earth' pic.twitter.com/tau9a631LG— Marc Morano (@ClimateDepot) November 14, 2016
The source said that Trump’s desire to exit the accord is based on two things: it hurts the U.S. economy and costs manufacturing jobs. The transition team is sending out signals it will reverse the hundreds of thousands of Obama's climate regulations once Trump takes office.
The source also pointed out they have gone out of their way to give the world notice for the last 15 months. Obama, they said, ratified the accord by executive fiat, and not by going through the senate. They noted there wouldn’t be this diplomatic fallout on the international stage if Obama hadn’t rushed into joining a legally non-binding agreement.