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Exxon and Shell step up to defend Paris climate accord

18 April 2017

Last week, Pruitt, a former Oklahoma Attorney General, said the United States should "exit" the agreement because it was a "bad deal" for the country.

As for India - which is on course to greatly increase its energy demand in coming years as electrification reaches more and more of the country's vast population - it, too, is moving to address climate change.

The marketplace may essentially nullify the Paris climate agreement and render it completely pointless, but the Trump administration is still weighing their options.

Trump is expected to make a final decision on Paris by late May, when he and other world leaders will travel to Italy for a G7 summit.

Advisers to President Donald Trump will meet on Tuesday to discuss whether to recommend that he withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, a White House official said on Monday.

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt said Thursday during an appearance on Fox and Friendsthat the United States should exit the Paris climate agreement because the accord only serves the interests of Europe, China and India. Now that the agreement has entered into force, it takes three years under its terms for a party to withdraw, followed by a one-year waiting period - a length roughly equal to Trump's first term in office.

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Bannon and Pruitt are said to be strongly opposed to remaining in the agreement, while Kushner and Tillerson are said to be in favor of staying. Defenders of the EPA rule to limit carbon emissions from power plants have not invoked the Paris agreement in their legal arguments to defend it. Given their apparent support for this agreement, it remains to be seen whether they will push back against Pruitt's remarks, potentially setting the White House up for yet another fight between centrist and conservative elements of the administration.

As part of the deal, the US pledged to reduce its emissions by between 26% and 28% from 2005 levels by 2025. A key argument is that the USA can stay in the agreement without satisfying its pledge or maintaining regulations created to help achieve the target, said one administration official.

China and India pledged to reach these ambitious goals by 2030, which means that, just like the USA, they must begin staking steps now to meet their commitments.

"Either way, there will be blowback from the worldwide community", Hanafi said. It was the first global agreement under which the almost 200 countries who negotiated it pledged to flight climate change and curb greenhouse gas emissions.

"The Paris agreement is created to undermine American self-government over the long term because the whole point of it is to put the United States inside a political pressure cooker" and influence domestic energy policy, said Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. That approach has won the endorsement of several major coal companies.

Exxon and Shell step up to defend Paris climate accord