Saturday, June 3, 2017

President Trump’s speech on the Paris Agreement was full of confusion and bogus claims

President Trump’s speech yesterday about the Paris Agreement on climate change was full of confusion and bogus claims.
President Donald Trump.
The key passage from the President’s speech was: “Therefore, in order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord…but begin negotiations to reenter either the Paris Accord or a really entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers. So we’re getting out. But we will start to negotiate, and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair. And if we can, that’s great. And if we can’t, that’s fine.”

It is not clear what this means. Article 28 of the Paris Agreement (PDF) states that any Party wishing to withdraw would need to wait at least three years from 4 November 2016, the date it came into force, and that the process would take 12 months. This means the earliest that the United States could complete its withdrawal would be on 4 November 2020, the day after the next Presidential election. So it is not possible for the United States to withdraw immediately.

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