Trump Has A Chance To Pull U.S. Out Of Climate Accord : The Two-Way During the campaign, the president-elect said climate change is not real, and he rejected last year's international agreement to cut greenhouse gases.
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Trump Has A Chance To Pull U.S. Out Of Climate Accord

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Trump Has A Chance To Pull U.S. Out Of Climate Accord

Trump Has A Chance To Pull U.S. Out Of Climate Accord

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Another thing Trump vowed to do during his campaign - abandon the Paris climate agreement signed last year by President Obama along with around 200 other countries. NPR's Christopher Joyce reports on how President-elect Trump might make good on that promise.

CHRISTOPHER JOYCE, BYLINE: It probably won't be hard for Trump to dump the climate deal. In Paris, the world's nations pledged to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases, but the pledges are voluntary. And Jason Bordoff, a former energy adviser to the White House and now Columbia University, says that now gives Trump an opening.

JASON BORDOFF: If a country wants to just walk away from their obligations, there's little recourse for the rest of the world other than diplomatic pressure, I think.

JOYCE: Environmental groups argue that the rest of the world could soldier on without the U.S., but Bordoff notes that the Paris deal starts with modest reductions in emissions. The idea was to come back in two years and toughen them up.

BORDOFF: So I think it has quite a damaging effect, if the U.S. were to try to walk away from its commitments, in discouraging other countries potentially from being as ambitious as they otherwise might be.

JOYCE: Or instead of walking away from the Paris deal, Trump could simply drop Obama's domestic climate strategy. The centerpiece is the Clean Power Plan, a federal rule that would require U.S. power companies to reduce emissions. Megan Borge, an energy expert with the Baker Botts law firm, says the Trump administration could simply gut it.

MEGAN BORGE: Effectively eliminate the rule altogether or potentially transform the rule into a very different animal. You know, they have options to go that road.

JOYCE: But even if Trump walks away from the Paris deal, market forces are already reducing emissions. Eliott Diringer is with the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions.

ELIOTT DIRINGER: Thanks to smart investments and technological innovations, we've already started on a clean-energy transition.

JOYCE: A transition that began even before the Paris agreement. Christopher Joyce, NPR News.

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