After threatening to do so during his 2016 presidential campaign and recent conversations with European leaders, Donald Trump has reportedly decided to pull the United States out of the Paris climate change deal. In finally doing so, the president will thereby keep one of the many promises he repeatedly boasted about during his campaign, which endeavored to undo many domestic and international policies instituted by Barack Obama. The White House has yet to comment officially on the report, but considering Sean Spicer’s heated response to a climate change question on Tuesday, a statement is expected.
According to Axios, two sources with knowledge of Trump’s decision indicated he would be pulling the country out of the agreement one of two ways. Either Scott Pruit, the appointed Environmental Protection Agency administrator, and a “small team” will “initiate a full, formal withdrawal — which could take 3 years,” or propose a “faster but more extreme” option for the president. In that case, the U.S. will leave the climate change treaty established by the United Nations that underpins the Paris agreement.
Trump’s decision, which CBS News and ABC News confirmed with additional reporting, will completely undo the Obama administration’s diplomatic efforts to curb the ill effects of climate change, which the latter ensured with his and China’s ratification of the Paris agreement last September. If true, it also flies in the face of Energy Secretary Rick Perry’s professed intent to “renegotiate” the terms of the international accord instead of outright abandoning it.