Trump Is Reportedly Pulling Out of the Paris Climate Change Pact

Under the agreement, reached with Obama in 2015, 200 countries pledged to reduce their fossil fuel emissions to combat global warming.
May 31, 2017, 1:14pm
Photo by Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Despite receiving the pope's entire encyclical on climate change last week, President Donald Trump is planning to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Change agreement, Axios reports.

Under the agreement, which was reached in 2015 with President Obama, 200 countries pledged to reduce their fossil fuel emissions to combat global warming. According to Reuters, the US was aiming to reduce its emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025. If the country turns its back on the pact, it could prompt other major carbon-emitting nations to pull out as well, which could potentially unravel the entire deal.

It's not clear how Trump plans to pull the country out of the agreement, but he said Wednesday that he'd be announcing his decision "over the next few days." Two sources with knowledge of the move told Axios that a small White House team is currently weighing whether or not to make a clean break from the accord, which could take three years, or just exit the UN climate change treaty it's built on. EPA head Scott Pruitt, who has a history of climate change skepticism and working for the interests of fossil fuel companies, is reportedly working with that team.

However, the potential move isn't all that surprising coming from a president who has likened climate change to a Chinese "hoax" and who promised to "cancel" the comprehensive agreement during the campaign. As president, he's already decided to roll back some of Obama's environmental achievements—like the Clean Power Plan. This move would send a clear signal to the rest of the world about where America's domestic interests lie and how the administration views the potential global threat associated with climate change.