Trump expected to withdraw from Paris Climate Agreement


By Izzy Connors ’18

White House aides reported yesterday that President Trump is deliberating a complete withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, a landmark global agreement ratified by 147 countries last year that aims to tackle climate change through diminishing greenhouse gas emissions.

While Trump will not issue a formal statement regarding the matter until Thursday, the news generated a wide range of extreme emotions all over the world, with some left appalled while others are excited by the possibility.

English teacher Ann Neary was concerned after the news was released. “My understanding is that Trump thinks pulling out indicates that he is keeping campaign promises to his voters…but staying in would indicate a commitment to fighting global warming and support and generate clean air technology jobs,” Neary said.

However, there are some who view the potential withdrawal as something that will benefit the United States. Calum Gordon ’19 perceives the potential withdrawal from the Paris accord to be beneficial to the United States because “Trump is busy with major problems and has more important things to worry about.” While Gordon agrees with Neary that climate change is a legitimate issue, he believes that “the safety of our citizens is more important, especially after recent events, security needs to be higher than ever” and thus the United States should “stay out of it and focus on more important things.”

In addition to Gordon’s argument, some detect other potential flaws in the agreement, such as the arguably excessive expense of the agreement. Throughout his campaign, Trump explicitly stated his intent to “cancel” United States participation in the accord, which he deemed “bad for U.S. business.”

Neary, however, noted that “major companies took ads in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal to advocate for the U.S. to stay in the agreement because they need to continue to do business overseas in order to thrive. Pulling out of the agreement may cost more than staying in, if the financial bottom line is all Trump is worried about.”

While the world debates the possible ramifications of such an abrupt withdrawal, Trump has refrained from making any conclusive statements regarding his pending decision. According to CNN, he is “still speaking to opponents of withdrawal even as his team prepared an announcement.” In fact, he supposedly met with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson yesterday, who is openly in favor of the climate agreement. Although Trump offered a lot of anti-agreement rhetoric throughout the 2016 election, the role of the United States in the global climate effort will was made certain at  3:00 p.m. today.