Numerous reports published this week have raised the specter that Donald Trump’s White House will move to exit the Paris Climate Agreement, or at the very least, downgrade the country’s commitment to the Agreement.
Reports published by The Washington Post and The New York Times this week reveal that the advocates for leaving the Paris Agreement entirely, Steve Bannon and Scott Pruitt, seem to be gaining the upper hand, and that the eventual decision may come down to the legal intricacies of a single sentence in the Paris Agreement itself. This, despite advice from senior advisers Rex Tillerson and H.R. McMaster, as well as his own children and inlaws, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. The battle lines have been drawn for some time, apparently, with the two sides — the “globalist cucks” verses the nationalists, essentially — vying to influence the President.
However, according to reports this week, it might all come down to a single provision in the Paris Agreement, Article 4, section 11 (PDF):
“A Party may at any time adjust its existing nationally determined contribution with a view to enhancing its level of ambition, in accordance with guidance adopted by the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Agreement.”
The question being debated is whether America can “adjust” it’s contribution downward as well as the obviously implied upward, without violating the terms of the agreement overall.
The obvious outcome of all this is simply that, under President Donald Trump, America will be moving to downgrade its contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The only question left appears to be whether America will be able to legally remain a signatory of the Paris Agreement while doing so, or whether it will simply exit the Agreement.
It was only a few weeks ago when I reported that it appeared proponents of remaining in the Paris Agreement had gained the upper hand, with Jivanka, McMaster, Tillerson, and even Rick Perry (though he advocates renegotiating) all advocating for America to remain. They were even joined by fossil fuel executives from Exxon Mobil Corp (Rex Tillerson’s old stomping grounds), Royal Dutch Shell PLC, and BP Plc, which had all actively advocated the White House remain. Since that time, however, things have only gone downhill — obviously — with further Obama-era environmental and energy regulations rolled back and further appointments to key positions filled with fossil fuel-puppets all signalling Donald Trump’s intention to side wholeheartedly with the fossil fuel industry — despite numerous examples that all the policy help in the world is not going to resurrect the industry.
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