The transition team under President-elect Donald Trump is looking to shortcut the process of leaving the historic Paris climate accord that came into effect on November 4.
The agreement stipulates that signatories can trigger an exit procedure that requires a one-year notice followed by, effectively, a three year wait. But transition team members are exploring other options,according to a source who spoke with Valerie Volcovici and Alister Doyle at Reuters:
Alternatives were to send a letter withdrawing from a 1992 Convention that is the parent treaty of the Paris Agreement, voiding U.S. involvement in both in a year’s time, or to issue a presidential order simply deleting the U.S. signature from the Paris accord, he said.
There are no explicit sanctions for leaving the climate agreement, but it will likely upset international relations , potentially jeopardizing other areas of international cooperation, such as counterterrorism efforts.
As it stands, the Paris accord is not enough to forestall warming above 2˚ C, which scientists say runs the risk of dangerous changes to the climate system. Such rapid shifts could disrupt the relatively stable weather patterns that have fostered human civilization, raising the possibility of longer droughts, more intense storms, and milder winters that foster the spread of diseases that affect humans, plants, and animals.
Even before year’s end, 2016 is shaping up to be one of the hottest years on record, with global temperatures for the first nine months 2.1˚ F (1.2˚ C) above the average temperature in the 1800s.
The 194 other countries in the agreement remain committed to trimming emissions, most notably China, which is the largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world. The country has taken a leading role in the renewable energy sector, producing 43 GW of solar panels last year alone, equal to 70% of the global production.