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Climate Scientists Are Furious That Trump Just Pulled Out Of The Paris Climate Deal

"This is one of the most reckless & reprehensible decisions ever made by a US president."

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Updated on

Climate scientists and scientific advocacy organizations condemned President Trump's announcement on Thursday that he would yank the United States out of the Paris agreement — calling into question some of the statements Trump made about climate used to support his decision.

"I cannot in good conscience support a deal that punishes the United States," Trump said at a speech in the White House Rose Garden.

The landmark agreement was signed into effect by the Obama administration in 2015, pledging to cut emissions over the next 10 years by at least 26% compared to 2005 levels.

"While the Paris Agreement can indeed be criticized, President Trump has chosen the completely wrong reason for being unhappy with it," Michael MacCracken, the former chief federal climate scientist, now at the Climate Institute in Washington D.C., told BuzzFeed News. "It is becoming increasingly obvious that it makes sense, both to slow the growing climate risks and to take advantage of the growing economies of clean energy, to move even more quickly and aggressively."

Trump hasn't told a single truth yet. Impact of Paris on warming is 5x greater than he claimed. AND PULLOUT, not TREATY, will hurt economy.

Donald Trump just lied to the world. Paris accord WITHOUT further progress would cut warming by 1C. W/ ratcheting u… https://t.co/fxDEJMYn0z

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MIT researcher whose report Trump used, to say Paris reduces global temp by "tiny amount," says he "disagrees completely" w/characterization

Trumps idea of fairness in a treaty is that of a narcissist. US has highest cumulative emissions and twice China and EU per capita emissions

It is flatly false that China doesn't have to do anything til 2030 under Paris. They made huge clean energy pledges… https://t.co/k4jqMLXhIy

Drops TPP, makes China Asia econ leader; trashes NATO, gives Russia power; now leaving Paris Accord? God help us. https://t.co/Gafxwn58GN

Trump is apparently going to pull out of the Paris Accords to "get a better deal." Dude, physics and chemistry do NOT negotiate.

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Many large environmental advocacy groups openly condemned the announcement.

Congratulations, President Bannon. #ParisAgreement

"This is one of the most reckless & reprehensible decisions ever made by a U.S. president." https://t.co/IDhGE0QkNV

Trump has isolated us from the global coalition we helped create to fight the central environmental challenge of our time.

Scrapping #ParisAgreement is abdication of American leadership in fight against biggest threat facing people & birds https://t.co/GqWMmhXgSL

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And many prominent climate scientists and advocates made the call to #resist.

And so we will resist. Cities and states: time to follow Atlanta and commit to 100% renewable energy. Or be a Trump https://t.co/j1myoS3wRr

Dropping out of Paris is reckless, shameful, immoral, irresponsible. But we and the rest of the world will still… https://t.co/eFojXd1pvV

A heartbreaking needless setback...but not the last word. Cities/states will take up lead + join rest of world's climate action in progress

Still others pointed out some reason for hope: according to the rules of the 2015 agreement, the president of the US cannot formally withdraw to the UN until three years after the agreement came into effect, and then must wait an additional year for the wheels to actually be set in motion.

So while Trump has publicly vowed to pull the US out of the agreement, the formal exit cannot occur until 2020 — right around the time of the next presidential election.

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On the other hand, Paris was designed to work even in the event of a Trump presidency. It was written that way, deliberately.

Remember, US withdrawal from the Paris accord becomes effective Nov 4, 2020 ... Election Day 2020: Nov 3! #resist

You don't "renegotiate" #ParisAgreement that US is already in, we cannot formally exit for 4 years. Rule of law still exists despite Trump

Note - US is actually in the Paris agreement until Nov 4 2020 - and only if US elects a climate denier in 2020

And others pointed out that even in the event of a US pull-out, the rest of the world — and, notably, industry — is still moving in the direction of curbing emissions.

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Secondly, India and China (two other big GHG emitters) are still signed on to Paris, and are showing real commitments to curbing emissions.

Thirdly, the market is moving away from fossil fuels, regardless of what Trump does, or his promises to bring coal back. Coal is done.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates and follow BuzzFeed News on Twitter.


Azeen Ghorayshi is a science reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Her PGP Fingerprint is 9739 9DAE 607E A66A 3683 AC20 E34B D2A0 8899 74C4

Contact Azeen Ghorayshi at azeen.ghorayshi@buzzfeed.com.

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