TTU Climate Scientist Speaks Out Against President Trump’s Withdrawal of Paris Agreement

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President Donald Trump announced his decision to pull out of the Paris Accord Thursday afternoon, putting the United States in a minority with Syria and Nicaragua.

“The bottom line is the Paris Accord is very unfair at the highest level to the United States,” Trump said. 

The Agreement was established to regulate human interference on the climate change by setting boundaries on the dangers that could attribute to global warming. 

It’s an agreement President Obama signed, as well as, 194 other countries across the world at the time. 

“We’re getting out, but we will start to negotiate, and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair,” Trump said. “And if we can, that’s great. And if we can’t, that’s fine.”

The President said his decision was not necessarily motivated by the climate or global warming, but believes this Agreement takes advantage of the U.S. economy. 

However, Texas Tech University Climate Professor Dr. Katharine Hayhoe argued not being at this global table would jeopardize the U.S.’s role in the international trade system.

“It’s a foolish decision,” Dr. Hayhoe said. “Not just from the perspective of climate change but if we care about the economy, if we care about international trade, if we care about the clean energy industry which is huge in Texas. Those are all things that the Paris Agreement would have promoted.”

She added that Trump’s decision will create implications for the wind and energy sectors that greatly impact the state economy. 

“We care about a changing climate because it effects us in the places where we live,” Dr. Hayhoe said. “Here in Texas, we know we see these repeating natural cycles of flood and drought, dry and wet, what’s happening over time is those cycles are getting amplified.”

Now while other countries are using new technology to advance, she added this decision will put the U.S. at a disadvantage by falling behind. 

Dr. Hayhoe said it will also take away the U.S. vote in each new global decision that effect the entire world. 

“By excluding itself, what many U.S. companies are worried about is the fact that they won’t have a seat at the table anymore,” Dr. Hayhoe said. “By opting out of this agreement, the United States is opting out of its chance to help shape the agreement in the direction it would prefer.”

Trump’s decision will not take effect until 2020, when he is up for reelection. 

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