Trump Wants to “Renegotiate” the Paris Climate Deal

The move could be fatal for the landmark agreement.

<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-322465715/stock-photo-new-york-city-september-businessman-and-presidential-candidate-donald-trump-held-a-press.html?src=ztJCCiuId5EgbYsCKVTL3w-1-4">a katz</a>/Shutterstock


If elected president, Donald Trump would pull the United States out of the commitments it made recently in Paris to fight climate change, according to a new interview with Reuters—a move that could deal a fatal blow to the landmark agreement.

“I will be looking at that very, very seriously, and at a minimum I will be renegotiating those agreements, at a minimum. And at a maximum I may do something else,” the New York real estate mogul said in an interview with Reuters.

“But those agreements are one-sided agreements and they are bad for the United States.”

Trump said he did not believe China, the world’s top emitter of the carbon dioxide gas that many scientists believe is contributing to global climate change, would adhere to its pledge under the Paris deal.

The deal, which the Obama administration plans to formally join by the end of the year, aims to limit global warming to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels. Needless to say, the plan would crumble if the US—the world’s second-biggest carbon dioxide emitter after China—were to back out.

Trump’s criticism of China, although commonplace among Republican climate change deniers, is debatable. Chinese diplomats worked closely with White House officials in developing the Paris Agreement. Chinese investment in clean energy technology vastly outpaces that of the US, and some energy analysts think China could actually be on track to outperform the climate targets it agreed to in Paris.

Still, it could be a noteworthy concession from Trump that he wants to “renegotiate,” rather than abandon the plan completely. He’s previously said global warming “was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate