President Donald Trump announced his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord at 3 pm Eastern in the White House Rose Garden. A live stream of the announcement is embedded above.
Multiple reports indicate that Trump is likely to announce a withdrawal from the agreement — though many of these reports have expressed at least some uncertainty, including about precisely what language Trump would use.
Jonathan Swan of Axios reported that, per “two sources with direct knowledge of the decision,” Trump has decided to pull out of the agreement. The Daily Beast’s Lachlan Markay reports that the White House is telling congressional staff that Trump will pull out. The Associated Press’s Jill Colvin and Julie Pace, though, report that “Trump’s decision may not be entirely clear-cut” and that aides continued to deliberate on “caveats in the language.”
The actual Paris deal — agreed to by 195 countries in December 2015 — is aspirational rather than binding, calling on countries to set goals for emissions reduction. Still, the withdrawal of the US would send an unmistakable signal to the rest of the world that the country with the second-highest carbon emissions is no longer interested in even pretending to care about reducing them.
For years now it’s been clear that blocking environmental regulations and obstructing action on climate change are top Republican Party priorities. The GOP’s leading politicians and media outlets have tended to praise fossil fuel companies and ignore or cast doubt on climate science. The major Republican presidential candidates harshly criticized the Paris deal in particular, and Trump promised to withdraw from it during the campaign.
Still, withdrawing from such a recent agreement that the vast majority of countries across the world have signed on to has serious consequences for America’s role as a global leader. So the question of whether the US should actually pull out of the agreement has reportedly been the subject of intense debate within the Trump administration.
According to Politico’s Andrew Restuccia and Josh Dawsey, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt have been the leading voices urging Trump to withdraw, while Ivanka Trump and the so-called “New York” or “globalist” White House camp have been advocating for staying in. Silicon Valley business leaders like Apple CEO Tim Cook and Tesla CEO Elon Musk have also been arguing that the US should stick to the agreement.