Most of the major media are reporting that the Trump administration still intends to withdraw from the Paris climate pact, as the president announced last June when he refused to join the other 19 nations at the G-20 summit in Hamburg in signing on to the agreement. However, due to the conditions and exceptions that some of Trump’s advisors have used in describing the administration’s position, some observers are not so sure that withdrawal from the pact is a certainty.
“We are withdrawing from the Paris agreement unless we can re-engage on terms more favorable to the United States,” the Financial Times quoted a senior White House aide.
Reuters reported on September 18 that Gary Cohn (shown), director of the White House National Economic Council, told reporters on the sidelines of an informal breakfast meeting with ministers from about a dozen countries at the UN on September 18 that the United States is standing by its plans to abandon the Paris climate pact — without a renegotiation more favorable to Washington. It was that last theoretical exception that has been the source of speculation concerning whether the Trump administration is firmly committed to withdrawing from the Paris pact.
“We made the president’s position unambiguous, to where the president stands, where the administration stands on Paris,” said Cohn.
The Wall Street Journal initially reported on September 17 that a White House official had told climate ministers in Montreal that Trump had decided not to pull out of the Paris accord, said the Reuters article. The Journal article ran under the headline “Trump Administration Seeks to Avoid Withdrawal From Paris Climate Accord.”
The White House quickly denied such reports, but repeated that, as before, Trump could be open to a different agreement.
During a press briefing held by Press Secretary Sarah Sanders and State Department Director of Policy Planning Brian Hook at the Hilton Midtown hotel in New York on September 18, a reporter asked Hook if he would talk a little bit more about the conversation about the Paris Agreement that Trump had with France’s President Macron. Hook answered, “On the Paris Agreement, the President … believes it’s just simply unfair — that he thought other countries, particularly China, received a better deal than the United States negotiated. And he talked about the consequence of the Paris Agreement for American workers, American industries, and the American economy.”
The reporter then asked if there was any discussion about possibly renegotiating the Paris deal, considering “the President has said he’s open to that if it’s more fair to America’s workers.” Hook replied:
The President focused repeatedly, in their meeting, on fairness. And it was a theme that he returned to again and again — that he thought that it was badly negotiated. He also thought the Iran deal was badly negotiated. And so he has inherited the Paris Agreement and the Iran deal….
I think he is very open to considering a number of different options, as long as they are fair to America’s interests, which include promoting the economy, protecting the environment — a range of those things…. He doesn’t think that the Paris Agreement is the best vehicle to achieve the priorities around protecting the environment because it advantages other countries, especially China, more than it helps the United States.
After the reporter summarized the administration’s position as “the U.S. believes in the goals of doing clean energy things that are environmentally sound, they just think that Paris itself is too flawed to be the right framework for it,” he asked, “So maybe we’ve all been thinking about this the wrong way. Instead of figuring out whether the U.S. is getting back into Paris, should we be trying to figure out whether there’s going to be something called, you know, ‘Manhattan 2018’ or whatever?”
Hook replied, “Going back to what I said earlier about the outcome, I think the focus for the President, with respect to climate is getting a fair deal.”
Such statements ignore what is intrinsically wrong with the Paris climate agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). First and foremost, like all UN agreements, the Paris climate agreement shifts responsibility away from sovereign nations to the UN. Trump touched on this aspect of the agreement in June, when he said it would harm U.S. industries, cost U.S. jobs, weaken American national sovereignty, and put the country at a permanent disadvantage to other nations.
As we wrote in an article about the Paris accord in December 2015, “Among other goals, the pseudo-treaty aims to restructure the global economy, completely phase out cheap and abundant energy sources over the coming decades, redistribute the wealth of Western taxpayers to Third World regimes, and empower the UN to oversee a planetary ‘climate’ regime.”
In addition to creating an apparatus for giving the UN oversight over the world’s energy resources, those running the United Nations COP21 global-warming summit, where the agreement was drafted, continued to perpetuate the myth that carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are responsible for global warming. Therefore, for the United States to sign on to such an agreement would amount to lending the prestige of the U.S. government to validating this unproven theory.
As we noted in 2015,
Under the guise of saving humanity from the “gas of life,” as scientists refer to the beneficial gas carbon dioxide, the new international agreement purports to require comprehensive monitoring and tracking of CO2 emissions across the Western world. Over the coming years and decades, the UN agreement also purports to mandate radical reductions in those emissions, essentially shackling humanity — and especially the world's poor — in order to allegedly “save” it. To reduce man's CO2 “footprint,” governments also vowed to funnel huge amounts of wealth into expensive and unreliable so-called “green” energy (think Solyndra).
Trump originally did the right thing by announcing that the United States would not participate in the Paris climate pact. However, if he is even considering entering into an alternate agreement that is “a fair deal,” then he is getting some very bad advice. A likely source of that advice may well be Gary Cohn, who has been a leading spokesman for the administration on this subject. Cohn’s true colors were exposed in an article for The New American in May, “Trump Pressured to Stay in Paris Climate Agreement.”
In that article, we noted,
The biggest supporter of the Paris Agreement, however, comes from one of Trump’s top advisers: Gary Cohn. Cohn, a registered Democrat and former Goldman Sachs COO who supported Hillary Clinton financially during her 2008 presidential run but failed to give a single dollar to the Trump campaign last year, is taking advantage of his position as Trump’s chief economic adviser to turn him away from his campaign promises. As a former Trump transition official told Hunter Walker at Yahoo News: “Everybody who wants to sort of modulate and moderate the president sees Gary as the best conduit to do that because he makes no apologies for who he is: a Goldman Sachs liberal Democrat from New York.”
Sam Nunberg, a conservative consultant in the early days of Trump’s campaign, told Walker that “Gary Cohn would be too liberal for the Obama administration! I don’t know what he’s doing in a Republican White House.”
Whatever Cohn is doing in the Trump White House, let us hope that Trump will ignore any advice he has to offer regarding the Paris climate pact.
Photo: AP Images