Citing an anonymous source from Trump’s transition team, Reuters reports that a major short-term priority is to weasel out of the Paris agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that went into force on November 4th. From the report:
“It was reckless for the Paris agreement to enter into force before the election” on Tuesday, the source told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Paris Agreement won enough backing for entry into force on Nov. 4.
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.
As it stands, any violation of the agreements procedural commitments could mean the United States is breaking international law. This was the primary reason President Obama rushed to get it into force without full congressional approval. Right now, a withdrawal from the agreement would be a four-year process.
Michael Wara, an environmental law professor at the Stanford Law School, told Scientific American that at this point a Senate vote wouldn’t be “relevant legally, given the status of the agreement.” But relevance, legality and formal commitments have never stopped Trump before.