Climate Desk

Trump’s Plan to Pull Out of the Paris Agreement Is Sheer Cowardice

He wouldn’t actually do anything himself.

Donald Trump walks onto the stage while attending the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria on October 20, 2016 in New York City.
Donald Trump walks onto the stage at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner on Oct. 20 in New York City.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

This story originally appeared on Grist and is reproduced here with permission from Climate Desk.


Here’s how Donald Trump plans to scrap that Paris climate deal.


In a Tuesday debate between energy advisers for the two major presidential campaigns, Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer detailed how his candidate would “cancel” what he described as “one more bad trade deal.”

Rather than walk away himself, Trump would submit the agreement to the Senate for a vote. President Barack Obama has avoided this step for obvious reasons, arguing it’s not needed because the Paris deal (which is not a trade deal) is a mostly non–legally binding agreement.

As Vox’s Brad Plumer notes, if Trump were to hand the deal over to the Senate to ratify, he would surely destroy it, while potentially getting a little less of the blame for it.

A September letter from 376 scientists warned this move would have “severe and long-lasting consequences … for the international credibility of the United States.”

Trump’s promise to defeat the Paris deal looms over the upcoming United Nations climate conference in Morocco (COP22), which begins a day before the U.S. election. As retired Brig. Gen. Stephen A. Cheney said of a Trump administration on a COP22 press call, “A lot of our plans could change.”