Climate change is already impacting the planet, but the specific goal of the Paris Agreement is to prevent the planet from warming by more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), which scientists warn could have especially damaging consequences
The Paris Agreement is a deal reached between 195 countries to gradually reduce emissions that cause climate change in order to prevent a major increase in the global temperatures that could raise sea levels, spark major droughts, and lead to more dangerous storms.
The agreement, which was negotiated in 2015 and took effect in November 2016, was spurred by the overwhelming global scientific consensus that rising global temperatures over the last several decades are caused by man-made activity.
3 reasons why Trump is not interested
Number 1: He has repeatedly tweeted and said in campaign speeches that climate change is a “hoax” and even suggested that China — another frequent Trump target — was behind the plot. China won’t end using fossil fuels
Number 2: Trump has rattled allies by criticizing trade agreements and military alliances.
Number 3: Trump is not a fan of the regulations and spending that the previous administration proposed to meet its goals, which he warns will reduce economic growth.
What happens if the US withdraws
The agreement won’t fall apart overnight. Already, reports suggest China and the European Union are prepared to publicly recommit to the agreement with or without the United States. Some experts say China appears to be reducing emissions ahead of schedule, in part because the country is phasing out coal quicker to reduce choking smog in its major cities.
Trump also can’t technically withdraw from the agreement until November 2019. It’s possible he could speed things up by abandoning the underlying Senate-approved climate treaty that the agreement is linked to.