Reports on Wednesday that President Donald Trump has decided to pull the United States out of the Paris climate change accord prompted a freakout on the Left, but several experts disputed predictions of environmental calamity.
The 147-nation pact, negotiated in Paris in 2015, set a goal of limiting the rise in global temperatures to less than 2 degrees Celsius. But the agreement lacked teeth, according to critics.
“It was largely a ceremonial type of agreement, especially since China didn’t commit to doing much,” said Terry Jarrett, a former member of the Missouri Public Service Commission, to LifeZette.
Trump has not made a formal announcement about his intentions, but multiple news sources reported Wednesday that it is a done deal. And the president hinted at it on Twitter:
I will be announcing my decision on the Paris Accord over the next few days. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2017
The president’s critics blasted the impending decision. Nicholas Burns, who served as under-secretary of state for political affairs under Barack Obama, called the decision “anti-empirical” and “anti-science,” and added a claim that it would hurt America’s standing in the world.
“It would be a colossal mistake by President Trump,” he told CNN’s Chris Cuomo. “It would harm every American because climate change is an existential threat to us. It would also, Chris, devastate our international credibility. We’re one of the two largest carbon emitters with China.”
But Republican leaders who had urged Trump to exit the agreement offered advance praise on Wednesday.
“The American people did not vote for President Trump so that American taxpayers could send billions of dollars overseas to establish a global crony capitalist slush fund,” Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) said in a prepared statement. “Pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement is absolutely the right decision for the United States economy.”
Tyler White, president of the Kentucky Coal Association, praised a resolution offered last week by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and several other lawmakers calling for withdrawal.
“The unilateral decision by the Obama administration to join the Paris agreement without the consent of Congress was one of many examples of the former administration’s executive overreach that put the American people and competitiveness at risk, for little or no meaningful environmental benefit,” he said in a statement.
The accord requires countries to submit emissions assessments every five years and to make $100 billion in climate-related financing available by 2020. The United States had committed to cutting emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent by 2025.
Sam Batkins, director of regulatory policy at the American Action Forum, said the free market may yet deliver those goals. He noted that cleaner-burning natural gas remains cheap and that the federal government continues to subsidize alternative energy industries such as wind and solar power. What’s more, he said, California and other large states are moving to regulate carbon emissions on their own.
Read more at LifeZette