The Trump administration officially notified the United Nations it will formally withdraw the US from the Paris Climate Accord, which is the first formal step in a one-year process.

The move would leave the US as the only country outside the accord, a decision President Trump promised early in his term to unfetter America’s domestic oil, gas and coal industries.

“What we won’t do is punish the American people while enriching foreign polluters,” Trump said at a shale gas industry conference in Pennsylvania on Oct. 23, referring to his planned withdrawal from the agreement.

The US issued its formal notification on the first day it was possible to do so, as signatories to the deal had to remain in for at least 3 years. And, despite plans to exit the agreement, the US has substantially reduced carbon emissions while expanding its economy.

“Compliance with the terms of the Paris accord and the onerous energy restrictions it has placed on the United States could cost America as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025 according to the National Economic Research Associates,” Trump said in the Rose Garden in 2017 when he announced plans to remove the U.S. from the accord. “This includes 440,000 fewer manufacturing jobs — not what we need — believe me, this is not what we need — including automobile jobs, and the further decimation of vital American industries on which countless communities rely. They rely for so much, and we would be giving them so little.”

…In his statement Monday, however, [Secretary of State Mike} Pompeo maintained that the United States was on the right track both economically and environmentally.

“Our results speak for themselves,” he wrote. “U.S. emissions of criteria air pollutants that impact human health and the environment declined by 74 percent between 1970 and 2018. U.S. net greenhouse gas emissions dropped 13 percent from 2005-2017, even as our economy grew over 19 percent.”

In contrast, a July 2019 review of government data reveals China’s greenhouse gas emissions soared 50% between 2005 and 2014.

China’s climate-warming greenhouse gas emissions hit 12.3 billion tonnes in 2014, up 53.5% in just a decade, the environment ministry said on Monday, citing the country’s latest carbon “inventory” submitted to the United Nations.

China’s carbon emissions data is notoriously opaque, but as a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Beijing is obliged to submit an official inventory to the UN on a regular basis. It has previously released figures for 2005 and 2010.

As the world’s biggest greenhouse gas producer, China is aiming to bring its total emissions to a peak by “around 2030”, though it has also pledged to show “the highest possible ambition” when it reviews its targets next year.

If you can handle more Trumpenfreude, here is a selection from green justice warriors.

Though I must admit, I do like the idea of a treaty-ripping ceremony…as long as we properly dispose of the bits in the trash.

Now if we can only figure out a way to extract ourselves from the United Nations!

 
 
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