May 31th, 2017
The EU should consider sanctions against the US if President Donald Trump withdraws from the Paris Climate Change Agreement later today as expected, Eamon Ryan TD has said.
The Green Party leader’s strong words follow reports that the US President is set to withdraw from the agreement. In December 2015, more than 190 countries adopted the Paris Agreement, the most ambitious climate change agreement in history.
In order for the agreement to take effect and enter into force, at least 55 countries representing at least 55 percent of global emissions need to formally join the Agreement.
The US is estimated to be responsible for 15 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, second only to China as the world’s main emitter. Then President Barack Obama signed the agreement into force in the US in September 2016.
“We were aware that President Trump was considering pulling out of the Paris Climate accord but his reported decision to do just that is truly shocking,” Mr Ryan said. “He is making America a rogue state, that is now shamed within the international community.”
“If the reported withdrawal from the agreement proves true then our Government must come together with our European colleagues to consider what sanctions we should apply on the US administration. We cannot keep treating the US as a friendly ally when there is such reckless disregard for international co-operation and our common future security,” he added.
In a tweet last Saturday, Mr Trump said that he will make a “final decision” on the Paris agreement this week.
I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2017
On Saturday, Axios reported that Mr Trump has privately told close confidants, including Scott Pruitt, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, that he plans to leave the landmark climate deal.
Speaking on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday, US Defense Secretary James Mattis said that the President is weighing up the potential pros and cons of the deal.
Mr Mattis said that Mr Trump was “open” and “curious” about why others nations were in the position they were in on the Paris Agreement.
“I’m quite certain the president is wide open on this issue as he takes in the pros and cons of that accord,” he added.
Mr Trump faced pressure from world leaders to support the historic agreement during last week’s G7 meeting in Italy.
Following meetings on the issue of climate change, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that discussions over the Paris Agreement were “very unsatisfactory” leaving “no sign of whether the US will remain in the Paris accord or not”.
The heads of the other six G7 nations signed a communique at the weekend reaffirming their “strong commitment” to implement the Agreement without delay.