As President Donald Trump weighs the political calculus of pulling the United States out of the historic Paris climate agreement, actually doing so may be more of a headache than he thinks. The agreement is not legally binding, but extricating the U.S. from it could take a long time. Also, Elon Musk has threatened to abandon Trump’s economic council if he abdicates the Obama-era agreement.
Europe must make clear to the United States that quitting the Paris climate agreement is not a straightforward process, and that fully leaving the deal will take years, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Wednesday.
“Europe’s duty is to say: it’s not like that,” Juncker told a student conference on the future of Europe organized by the German employers’ association BDA. “The Americans can’t just leave the climate protection agreement. Mr. Trump believes that because he doesn’t know the details.”
The agreement itself is not legally binding, specifically the pledge made by the Obama administration to reduce carbon emissions through investing in renewable energy, increasing fuel emission standards and others initiatives. But the biggest commitment–and the one that likely bothers the Trump White House the most–is the financial pledge the U.S. has made as part of the agreement.
“The U.S. … pledged $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund, an international pool of funding intended to help countries adopt less-polluting energy sources and cut emissions… [and] the United States also will double its commitment to $861 million in grant-based investments to help developing nations find ways to adapt to climate change,” according to the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
Don't know which way Paris will go, but I've done all I can to advise directly to POTUS, through others in WH & via councils, that we remain
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 31, 2017
However, Elon Musk has urged the president to remain a part of the agreement. Musk, somewhat controversially, agreed to join President Trump’s economic advisory council. He said that if the Trump administration decides to withdraw from the Paris agreement, he and his allies will “have no choice but to depart the councils.”
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