Why Trump Couldn’t Walk Away from the Paris Agreement
Reality show star and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump may be planning to renegotiate the Paris Agreement if he becomes U.S. president, but there are at least five reasons he can’t, Grist reported last week.
First, the agreement will go into effect as soon as 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions have ratified it—and once that happens, Article 28 provides that participating nations can’t leave the accord for four years. Sixteen countries have already ratified, and the U.S. is one of several others that are expected to join in coming months.
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Second, Paris is a done deal, after a six-year effort to lay the groundwork, and countries are already meeting in Bonn through May 26 to begin work on implementation. So “‘renegotiating’ is not remotely on the table,” Grist notes.
The other realities about the Paris Agreement are that the U.S. got what it wanted in the deal, trying to “wholly divest the United States from the agreement” would be a “Herculean task” given the character of the United Nations bureaucracy, and walking way from the Paris deal would be diplomatic suicide.
“If he’s intending on spurning the deal, Trump’s best bet is to simply ignore it—but that would open up a gaping credibility problem with the United States’ biggest allies,” writes correspondent Clayton Aldern. “Hate it or love it (and there are certainly valid points of critique), the Paris Agreement is undoubtedly one of the most important documents in the history of international relations. For a man who’s all about making deals, this should be apparent.”