Has The Momentum Turned Against The Paris Climate Agreement In White House?

Real, or just hazy, nebulous tea leave reading by Juliet Eilperin at the Washington Post?

In the Trump White House, the momentum has turned against the Paris climate agreement

Foes of the United States remaining in the Paris climate agreement have gained the upper hand in the ongoing White House debate over whether to pull out, according to participants in the discussions and those briefed on the deliberations, though President Trump has yet to make a final decision on what to do.

Senior administration officials have met twice since Thursday to discuss whether the United States should abandon the U.N. accord struck in December 2015, under which the United States has pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. The president’s aides remain divided over the international and domestic legal implications of remaining party to the agreement, which has provided a critical political opening for those pushing for an exit. (snip)

At a rally with supporters Saturday, Trump said he would make a “big decision” on Paris within the next two weeks and vowed to end “a broken system of global plunder at American expense.”

Mr. Trump made the promise to pull the U.S. out of the agreement that was only signed by Mr. Obama, but not even sent to the U.S. Senate for ratification. It was specifically drafted in a manner to avoid submission to the duly elected lawmakers. So far, all we’ve received is inconsistent messaging as to whether he will keep that campaign promise or not. It shouldn’t be this hard.

As the NY Times notes, this could all come down to a single phrase (somewhat mentioned in the WP article)

The debate within the Trump administration over what to do about the Paris climate agreement has reached a critical phase, according to people familiar with the internal negotiations. The decision could hinge on the interpretation of a single phrase in a single provision of a document that took years to write.

The question is whether to walk away from the agreement sealed by the Obama administration and nearly 200 other nations at the end of 2015 — as Donald J. Trump promised as a presidential candidate to do — or to weaken the nation’s commitment under the deal to reducing greenhouse gases while remaining in the accord.

The provision at issue, Article 4.11, states that a nation “may at any time adjust its existing nationally determined contribution with a view to enhancing its level of ambition.” The question is whether the ability to “adjust” is like a ratchet, allowing progress only in one direction — upward — or if it permits a country to weaken its commitment without violating the terms of the deal.

This is the influence of the liberals working for Trump, especially his daughter and son-in-law, along with his own NYC liberal tendencies. If he refuses to pull out, how will those on the Trump Train respond? This isn’t some minor promise.

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4 Responses to “Has The Momentum Turned Against The Paris Climate Agreement In White House?”

  1. Dana says:

    The Paris agreement has no enforcement mechanism, so it’s not like other nations could actually do anything to the United States if we remained in the agreement, but did not meet the targets. The problem arises if the Democrats win the presidency in 2020: a Democratic president could try to do what President Obama did, using executive orders and EPA regulations to try to achieve those target goals, and use the agreement to buttress the next President’s legal arguments when those things were challenged in court.

    Candidate Trump made an unambiguous promise on the campaign trail; it’s time for President Trump to keep that promise.

  2. The Neon Madman says:

    I certainly hope that the agreement is dead. If Trump folds on this it will really go bad with a lot of his supporters. Right now he has had a few strong setbacks, he really needs to be on the right side of this issue.

  3. Jl says:

    Or, “has the momentum turned against spending trillions on nothing”?

  4. drowningpuppies says:

    It’s always good to base opinions on the current reporting from unnamed sources of the WaPo and the NYT.