United States President Donald Trump has decided to exit the United Nations’ Paris climate change pact, Axios reported on Wednesday. This will completely unravel former President Barack Obama’s climate change policy, and will impact the global fight against rising temperatures, as the US is the second biggest emitter of greenhouse gases.
Soon after the news broke, an official from the European Union confirmed that the EU and China would “reaffirm” their committment to the deal despite the US’ decision, AP reported.
Two unnamed sources who have “direct knowledge of the decision” told Axios about Trump’s decision. His administration will have to decide whether they will choose to withdraw via a three-year process stipulated by the treaty, or whether they want to speed it up by leaving the underlying UN climate change treaty, which is a far more drastic move.
Trump has constantly claimed that there is no real evidence to prove that climate change exists, and has called it a “hoax”. However, his decision to back out of the deal goes against advice from several aides of his, including his daughter Ivanka Trump and chief strategist Steve Bannon.
Trump had delayed making a final decision on the deal until the G-7 summit, which concluded last week. He had not committed to the deal at the summit, and had said he would make his final decision on it within a week. Analysts are afraid Trump’s decision to quit the deal will weaken it massively.
India is also one of the 200 countries to have ratified the Paris deal, which aims to cut global warming by reducing carbon dioxide and other fossil fuel emissions. The US had agreed to cut its emissions by 26 to 28% by 2025, according to the pact.
China is responsible for more than 20% of global emissions, followed by the US (17.9%). Russia accounts for 7.5% of emissions and India for 4.1%.