State Dep't Starts Formal U.S. Withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement

By Michael W. Chapman | November 4, 2019 | 4:11pm EST
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

( -- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced today that the United States submitted formal notification of its withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement to the United Nations. Barring a major shift in policy, the withdrawal will take effect in one year. 

"As noted in his June 1, 2017 remarks, President Trump made the decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement because of the unfair economic burden imposed on American workers, businesses, and taxpayers by U.S. pledges made under the Agreement," said Pompeo in a Nov. 4 statement.

"The United States has reduced all types of emissions, even as we grow our economy and ensure our citizens’ access to affordable energy," said Pompeo.  

"Our results speak for themselves," he said. "U.S. emissions of criteria air pollutants that impact human health and the environment declined by 74% between 1970 and 2018.  U.S. net greenhouse gas emissions dropped 13% from 2005-2017, even as our economy grew over 19 percent."

In his June 2017 remarks about leaving the Paris Agreement, President Trump said, "The fact that the Paris deal hamstrings the United States, while empowering some of the world’s top polluting countries, should dispel any doubt as to the real reason why foreign lobbyists wish to keep our magnificent country tied up and bound down by this agreement:  It’s to give their country an economic edge over the United States.  That’s not going to happen while I’m President."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.  (Getty Images)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (Getty Images)

"America is $20 trillion in debt," he said.  "Cash-strapped cities cannot hire enough police officers or fix vital infrastructure.  Millions of our citizens are out of work.  And yet, under the Paris Accord, billions of dollars that ought to be invested right here in America will be sent to the very countries that have taken our factories and our jobs away from us.  So think of that."

The Paris Agreement is designed to address global warming allegedly caused by man-made emissions of greenhouse gases. The effort, to be financed by wealthy countries, would seek to restrict warming this century to no higher than 2 degrees Celsius and a longer-term goal of no higher than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Some scientists, including climatologist Patrick Michaels, contend that the Earth's temperature could rise 1.9 degrees Celsius between now and 2100, an increase that already is under the Climate Agreement's goal. 

In his closing remarks about withdrawing form the Paris Agreement, Secretary Pompeo said, "The U.S. approach incorporates the reality of the global energy mix and uses all energy sources and technologies cleanly and efficiently, including fossils fuels, nuclear energy, and renewable energy."

"In international climate discussions, we will continue to offer a realistic and pragmatic model – backed by a record of real world results – showing innovation and open markets lead to greater prosperity, fewer emissions, and more secure sources of energy," said the Secretary of State. 

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