U.S. formally moves to withdraw from Paris Agreement

A late Friday afternoon press release from the U.S. Department of State announced that the United States submitted a communication to the United Nations, in its capacity as depositary for the Paris Agreement, regarding the U.S. intent to withdraw from the climate accords consistent with the terms of the agreement. 

President Donald Trump made a June 1 announcement saying the US would pull out of Paris Agreement as soon as it is eligible to do so, but it is common for officials to ‘dump’ bad news on the eve of a weekend to diminish attention on actions that would be viewed negatively by the public.

About 70 percent of Americans believe climate change is happening and 97 percent of scientists concur with findings that show human activity contributes to the problem.

After his bombshell announcement in June, Trump signalled that he is open to re-engaging in the Paris Agreement if the United States can identify terms that are more favorable but thousands of businesses, local governments, and citizens have declared they will continue to support climate action: http://wearestillin.com/

Its retreat from climate action cost the United States its vaunted role as ‘leader of the free world’ and made it one of only three nations to reject the agreement.

“We will continue to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions through innovation and technology breakthroughs, and work with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently and deploy renewable and other clean energy sources, given the importance of energy access and security in many nationally determined contributions,” said a State Department spokesperson.

Trump appointees such as EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke have been hostile to climate science, actively denying the truth about the harmful effects of fossil fuel on the environment.

Dozens of senior  climate science officials have been reassigned at the Department of the Interior, including Dr. Virginia Burkett, who contributed to the IPCC reports that won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Joel Clement, a policy analyst at the Department of Interior, filed a whistle-blower complaint with the Office of Special Counsel alleging that his reassignment to an accounting position was retribution for speaking out about the dangers of climate change. 

The State Department said the United States will continue to participate in international climate change negotiations and meetings, including the 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP-23) of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Across party lines, a majority of registered voters say corporations and industry should do more to address global warming (74% of all registered voters; 89% of Democrats, 75% of Independents, and 56% of Republicans).

A recent study finds that majorities of Americans in all 50 states and all 435 Congressional Districts support setting strict carbon dioxide emissions limits on coal-fired power plants.


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