Last week, in a bizarre spectacle, President Trump stated that the United States will be immediately withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement, while at the same time, renegotiating terms for re-entry.
The fact is the withdrawal protocol that the Trump administration will pursue lasts 4 years.
There will be no immediate withdrawal.
During his speech, the President took the time to speak several falsehoods and spew divisive rhetoric against the Agreement, and climate change at-large. This included false numbers of a nosediving economy that would lose jobs if the implementation of the Paris Agreement went forward.
“Even if the Paris Agreement were implemented in full, with total compliance from all nations, it is estimated it would only produce a two-tenths of 1 degree think of that; this much-Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100. Tiny, tiny amount.”
This remark by the President cited MIT research, which prompted a quick rebuttal from the University, with researchers pointing out that their data estimated reductions at 0.9 degrees by 2100, not 0.2 degrees.
This is a critical difference. According to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a differencefrom 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius in warming can increase heat-wave durations, rainstorm intensity, and sea level rise by roughly a 30%.
President Trump may ultimately find a pathway to cancel his withdrawal request during his time in office. Nonetheless, the lack of leadership during that time at home and abroad, coupled with the severe weakening of the EPA and abolishment of the Clean Power Plan, can push us back several years despite limited time remaining for a reasonable drawdown of emissions.
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation pledges our full support to science and truth. Despite a demand to exit by our President, we, along with other U.S. organizations, companies, and subnational governments, will do our part to uphold the Paris Agreement and protect the habitats we all call home.
There is no other option.