I think we all saw this coming last November, but things are about to get very real.
An administration source says Trump will withdraw from the Paris accord this week.
President Donald Trump will follow through on a campaign pledge to pull the United States out of a global pact to fight climate change, a source briefed on the decision told Reuters, a move that promises to deepen a rift with U.S. allies.
Trump, who has previously called global warming a hoax, did not confirm the decision in a post on Twitter, saying only, "I will be announcing my decision on the Paris Accord over the next few days."
Trump refused to endorse the landmark climate change accord at a summit of the G7 group of wealthy nations on Saturday, saying he needed more time to decide, and promised an announcement this week.
Immediately after the election, this was the number one thing that literally kept me awake at night. And it's not about me. I'm concerned, as are many people, that my two young nieces are going to inherit a world where irreversible climate change is a fact of life. One of them is traveling to Florida this week with her grandparents but, when she's my age, a significant portion of Florida could be under water.
With all of that said, there are some reasons to be optimistic. Most major cities and some states have already taken their own actions and will remain committed to going green even if the federal government under Trump does not. Because of their size and impact on the environment and economy, major cities under Democratic leadership can and already have made a significant difference. Market forces have also had an impact; solar energy is now among the cheapest forms of energy and, increasingly, it doesn't even make sense to use draw energy from more expensive, dirtier sources.
It's ironic when you consider that Trump's decision could have the greatest negative effect on conservative areas of the country that voted for him; areas where elected leaders are not inclined to take their own initiative. Even some diehard red states have set goals for renewable energy, but those same states are not necessarily prepared to invest in redundancy and adaptation. They aren't prepared for what's coming, but you can bet they'll hold out their hands in Congress when their communities are destroyed.
Meanwhile, this is another major global issue that Trump is ceding American leadership on. Trump already gave up global leadership on trade to China by abandoning the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and he'll be giving up leadership on climate change to Germany and China if he abandons the Paris climate accord. You know, those Germans, the people Trump says are "very bad."
By withdrawing from the Paris accord, the U.S. will join a very short list of countries that includes Nicaragua and Syria as the only countries not committed to it. Even when Trump is gone, the rest of the world will rightfully remain skeptical of American leadership and doubt our commitments.