Trump begins withdrawal process from Paris Agreement on Climate Change

The US President formally notified the UN on 4th November 2019. The paperwork has been sent by the US Government and commences a one-year process of exiting the Paris Agreement. Trump will be able to finalise the withdrawal on 4th November 2020, one day after the presidential election, in which Trump is seeking a second term.

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo reiterated the US Government stance that remaining in the agreement would be an “unfair economic burden imposed on American workers, businesses and taxpayers”.

Trump’s decision has been largely met with negativity, with former US Vice President Al Gore posting on Twitter, “No one person or party can stop our momentum to solve the climate crisis. But those who try will be remembered for their complacency, complicity, and mendacity in attempting to sacrifice the planet for their greed.”

Research suggests that extreme weather events cost the US economy more than $306bn in 2017, and that future climate-related events could drive more than 100 million people into poverty by 2030.

The White House has additionally agreed to lower the requirements for automakers in the country to make their fleet vehicles cleaner and more efficient. Legislation has been discussed to freeze automotive emissions standards to around 37 miles per gallon (mpg) through to 2026, essentially cancelling the Obama Administration’s agreement for an average of 46mpg by 2025. The White House has instead come to an agreement that requires automakers to deliver a 1.5% annual improvement in vehicle efficiency.

Michael R. Bloomberg, the United Nations Secretary-General’s special envoy for climate action, issued the following statement, “Abandoning the Paris Agreement is an abdication of leadership that the vast majority of Americans oppose. Americans want action on climate change, and it's up to the public to deliver what Washington won't – and we are. Bloomberg Philanthropies is supporting the thousands of cities, states, businesses, and organisations committed to helping the US reach the goals we set under the Paris Agreement. Through our Beyond Carbon campaign, we’re working to move America to 100% clean energy as fast as possible and supporting elected leaders who will take bold climate actions to help us get there.”

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