After days of drama and suspense, President Trump announced Thursday that his administration will exit the Paris climate agreement. "So we're getting out," Trump said. "The Paris accord is very unfair at the highest level to the United States." Trump's decision fulfills a campaign promise and satisfies strong Republican opposition to the global climate deal but isolates the U.S. and is certain to bring condemnation from world leaders and critics in the scientific community. Critics of the Paris agreement argue it hurts the economy but supporters say it will create jobs down the line.
Brad Plumer, a climate reporter for The New York Times, explains the consequences of President Trump's decision today that he will withdraw from the landmark global warming agreement. WASHINGTON -- President Trump announced Thursday that he will withdraw the United States from participation in the Paris climate accord, weakening global efforts to combat climate change and siding with conservatives who argued that the landmark 2015 agreement was harming the economy. But he will stick to the withdrawal process laid out in the Paris agreement, which President Barack Obama joined and most of the world has already ratified. That could take nearly four years to complete, meaning a final decision would be up to the American voters in the next presidential election. Still, Mr. Trump's decision is a remarkable rebuke to fellow heads-of-state, climate activists, corporate executives and members of the president's own staff, all of whom failed this week to change Mr. Trump's mind with an intense, last-minute lobbying blitz.
And it is, but not because his decision to withdraw will catapult us toward assured and quick global demise. In fact, in recent weeks, many people have started to realize that Trump pulling out of the Paris Agreement is perhaps the best thing that could happen for the future of the agreement and, by side effect, the planet. After all, the accord is largely a voluntary gentleman's agreement. Trump has exhibited absolutely no gentlemanly interest in keeping the light promises America has made under the agreement, regardless of whether we pull out. He's already rolled back the policies that would ensure we might make our commitment to Paris, so effectively, he's stepped out of the accord before officially doing so.
Shortly after Donald Trump told the world that the US would withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, American cities and states vowed they would abide by the international compact anyway. At least 61 mayors followed through on a previous pledge to ignore Trump's decision and released a statement vowing to uphold the Paris accords. Meanwhile, the governors of California, New York and Washington announced they would form the "United States Climate Alliance" to do the same as a multi-state coalition. Governors of New York, California, and Washington announce the formation of the "United States Climate Alliance". According to the statement above, the governors intend to recruit more states into the US Climate Alliance.
The announcement by the Trump administration that the United States is pulling out of the COP21 agreement might come across as a win for traditional energy sources over renewables. However, the market tells us that this simply isn't the case. When the Paris Agreement was finalized in April 2016, companies in the U.S. quickly worked to understand core provisions and principles so that they could factor them into their long-term business plans. By removing the U.S. from the agreement, President Trump has effectively disrupted this market, which will force many to question the possibility of future economic growth across our sector. It's just as much an economic issue, affecting all providers, as it is an environmental one.