More than 200 people gathered outside the White House Saturday, June 3, to rally in support of President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement.
The crowd was boisterous, yet reserved as supporters took part in a number of chants, namely, “Pittsburgh, not Paris” and “jobs, jobs, jobs,” ABC reported. The Pittsburgh reference refers to Trump’s statement about the Paris Agreement pullout that he was “elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”
The only skirmish occurred when a woman yelled an anti-Trump epithet and supporters briefly responded. The situation was ended without incident, and the rally continued. Supporters waved signs displaying familiar Trump rally mantras, “Trump-Pence” and “Make America Great Again.”
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto didn’t take kindly to the Pittsburgh reference, stating the people of Pittsburgh support the Paris Agreement. A Democrat, Peduto turned to Twitter to remind his followers the majority of Steel City voters did not cast tallies for the president.
“Fact: Hillary Clinton received 80% of the vote in Pittsburgh,” he tweeted. “Pittsburgh stands with the world & will follow Paris Agreement.”
Meantime, several groups say while the president may have been within his ability to use an executive order to pull out of the Paris accord, some claim he misunderstood MIT research when he cited the university’s data in order to justify the move.
Trump said even with full compliance from all nations, there would only be a global warming reduction by two-tenths of one degree Celsius by 2100.
“Tiny, tiny amount,” he said.
Trump based the claim on the 2016 MIT study, How much of a difference will the Paris Agreement make? The study shows reductions of between 0.6 degree and 1.1 degrees Celsius by 2100 if all nations comply.
Trump is not without support in his understanding of the study. Reuters reported that an MIT official reasoned that the Paris Agreement will have a very small impact on climate change.
The Paris Climate Agreement was reached in 2015 when 200 nations pledged to cut carbon dioxide and fossil fuel emissions to limit global warming by two degrees by 2100. The United States, under then-President Barack Obama, vowed to reduce emissions by 28 percent by 2025.
Obama blasted Trump for the pullout. He said the United States should lead the world in greenhouse gas reduction, even under poor leadership in the White House.
“Even in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future,” Obama said in a statement, “I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got.”
Some Paris Agreement supporters say Trump must have Senate approval before backing out of an accord entered into by a past president. Others say the United States can’t technically quit the accord because the United States never officially signed on.
While it is a treaty of sorts and would have required Senate approval to join had Obama treated it that way, he did not sign a binding international agreement. The president chose to adopt guidelines of the Paris Agreement with an executive order, which means Trump can back out using the same authority. It also could introduce matters of international law about whether the Paris accord can be treated as both a treaty and a “sole executive agreement” (SOE) based on the choosing of either party.
There is a four-year extended exit period, which protected Obama from his successor coming in and immediately nixing the agreement. In Trump’s defense, it allowed Obama to pre-commit him to a four-year agreement he didn’t sign up for and does not have full control over when he can back the nation out.
[Featured Image by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images]