On June 1, U.S. President Donald Trump announced the U.S. would be withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accords, and on October 24 he has made the announcement official, saying the U.S. would be out of the agreement by November 4 2020.
Trump said, when announcing the intent to leave the agreement, how unfair the document is to the U.S. and how it lets other countries like China and India continue to pollute. It is unclear exactly what Trump meant when he said the document is unfair, though it seems more that Trump is referring to how the agreement may hurt the U.S. economically and that other countries may not abide by the agreement.
The non-binding document encourages the countries that have ratified, currently 187, to lower the global rise in temperature from 2 degrees Celsius to below 1.5 degrees Celsius. This is to be achieved by participating countries lowering their greenhouse gas emissions and by cutting down on policies and energy production that would damage the environment.
One of the main features of the document is that countries are able to set their own pace for scaling back their emissions. China, for example, has recently said they will be committing to the Paris Climate Accords with the “highest possible ambition.” Another high emissions producer, India, has also stated their commitment to the agreement, with their Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasizing at a recent UN climate summit what India has done and will do to fight climate change.
The U.S. is also a large producer of greenhouse gas emissions, and in the two years since Trump announced his intent to leave the Paris Agreement, the Trump administration has done more to contribute to carbon emissions than reduce them. During Trump’s tenure, he has rolled back dozens of environmental regulations pertaining to drilling and air pollution, all as part of a larger strategy of reducing the government’s role in business, something he began implementing as soon as he was in office.
Trump has been touting the need for more jobs in the coal and natural gas sector since before he became president, and since then there has been an increase for some in the number of coal jobs and coal extracted in various parts of the country. While the coal industry has seen modest increases since Trump took office, there is not always a one to one correlation between policies enacted by Trump and an increase in the coal industry, or any signs as to how long the increase may last, due to coal being a finite resource.