On Monday, the United States formally notified the United Nations that it was withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, making the world’s largest economy the sole outlier from the agreement.
Despite rising evidence of the reality and impact of climate change, President Donald Trump went ahead with September the fourth month in the row with near- or record-breaking temperatures.
The United States presented its withdrawal letter to the United Nations on the first possible date under the accord negotiated by Trump predecessor Barack Obama. On November 4, 2020, it will be officially out of the Paris accord, a day after the US election in which Trump is seeking a second term.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo while announcing the move repeated Trump’s remarks in 2017 that the agreement imposed an “unfair economic burden” on the United States.
Pompeo said in a statement, “The US approach incorporates the reality of the global energy mix and uses all energy sources and technologies cleanly and efficiently, including fossils fuels, nuclear energy, and renewable energy.”
According to a State Department official, the United States is still planning to attend this moth’s COP climate negotiations in Spain. Mike Pompeo has pointed out that the US has reduced greenhouse gas emissions up to 13 percent, pledging to pursue a “realistic and pragmatic model.”
The greenhouse gas has been blamed for climate change from 2005 to 2017 even as the economy grew. Trump, after taking office in 2017, has vowed to turn back environmental regulations, seeking to block California from setting tighter standards on car emissions and moving to let states their own standards on existing coal-fired power plants.
Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said that the Trump administration has “once again thumbed its nose at our allies, turned a blind eye to the facts and further politicized the world’s greatest environmental challenge.”
The former vice president turned climate champion Al Gore said, “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.”