In the Rose Garden of the White House, President Trump fulfilled a key campaign promise last week by confirming that the United States will begin withdrawing from the Paris Climate Change Agreement (“Agreement”). President Trump cited the Agreement’s potential financial and economic burdens as a reason for the withdrawal.
The Agreement, a key component of the Obama Administration’s climate change agenda, was negotiated in December 2015, and signed by the United States in April 2016. Participating countries agreed to make efforts at keeping average global temperature increases below 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. President Obama pledged that the United States would cut its carbon emissions by 26% to 28% from 2005 levels by 2030, and provide significant financial contributions to developing countries.
The Agreement was never submitted to the Senate for formal ratification as a Treaty of the United States, suggesting that the country’s commitments were not legally binding.
At today’s press conference, President Trump indicated that he would follow the withdrawal process specified in the Agreement, which could take nearly four years. However, President Trump signaled that he would attempt to renegotiate the United States’ participation in the current Agreement or develop an entirely new agreement that would be more favorable to the United States.