U.S. no­ti­fies U.N. of in­tent

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Seth Borenstein

WASH­ING­TON» The Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion on Fri­day of­fi­cially told the United Na­tions that the U.S. in­tends to pull out of the 2015 Paris cli­mate pact.

But the State Depart­ment’s an­nounce­ment doesn’t for­mally start the process of the U.S. get­ting out of the vol­un­tary agree­ment. That’s still to come.

Still, the depart­ment de­scribed its com­mu­ni­ca­tion as a “strong mes­sage” to the world, fol­low­ing Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s de­ci­sion in June to leave the ac­cord.

“The State Depart­ment is telling the U.N. what the pres­i­dent al­ready told the world on June 1 and it has no le­gal ef­fect,” said Nigel Purvis, who directed U.S. cli­mate diplo­macy dur­ing the Bill Clin­ton and Ge­orge W. Bush ad­min­is­tra­tions.

Purvis said coun­tries can’t with­draw from new in­ter­na­tional agree­ments, in­clud­ing the Paris cli­mate one, un­til three years af­ter they go into ef­fect. The Paris agree­ment went into ef­fect on Nov. 4, 2016.

Then the process takes a year.

The State Depart­ment cited the same time­line, say­ing it can of­fi­cially start with­draw­ing as soon as Novem­ber 2019. That means the ear­li­est the U.S. can be out of the cli­mate agree­ment is Nov. 4, 2020 — the day af­ter the next pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

In a state­ment, the State Depart­ment said the U.S. will con­tinue to par­tic­i­pate in in­ter­na­tional meet­ings and ne­go­ti­a­tions on cur­rent and fu­ture cli­mate change deals. The next meet­ing is in Bonn, Ger­many, in Novem­ber.

Trump is “open to re-en­gag­ing in the Paris Agree­ment if the United States can iden­tify terms that are more fa­vor­able to it, its busi­ness, its work­ers, its peo­ple and its tax­pay­ers,” the depart­ment said.

Un­der the agree­ment, coun­tries set their own na­tional plans for cut­ting cli­mate emis­sions. That means Trump can come up with dif­fer­ent tar­gets for the United States than those set by Pres­i­dent Barack Obama. But Trump can’t uni­lat­er­ally change the text of the Paris deal.

Un­der Obama, the U.S. agreed to re­duce pol­lut­ing emis­sions more than a quar­ter from 2005 lev­els by the year 2025. There is no cli­mate court. All that’s re­quired in the agree­ment is a plan and re­port­ing on progress to­ward reach­ing self­set goals.

No mat­ter what the U.S. does, the Paris agree­ment re­mains in ef­fect be­cause enough other coun­tries rat­i­fied it.

The Paris agree­ment aims to pre­vent the Earth from heat­ing up by 3.6 de­grees Fahren­heit since the start of the in­dus­trial age.

The over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of sci­en­tists say the burn­ing of coal, oil and gas is caus­ing the Earth’s cli­mate to change be­cause of heat-trap­ping gases.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.