A detailed analysis shows how much more CO2 each of Trump’s climate policy changes would send into the atmosphere
- By Annie Sneed on May 31, 2017
Credit: sharply_done Getty Images
Editor’s Note (6/1/17): This story has been updated to reflect the Trump administration’s announcement today of its decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement.
Pres. Donald Trump announced today that he would pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord. But whether Trump had kept the U.S. in the agreement or not, his policies—if they all become reality—already had the power to profoundly undermine the nation’s ability to reach the U.S.’s Paris climate goals.
According to a new report (pdf) released by analysts at the recent Bonn climate talks, the president’s rollback of current climate regulations, if successful, could cause the U.S. to release 0.4 gigatonne more carbon dioxide in annual emissions in the year2030 than if those policies remained. That gap gets much larger when the report authors accounted for Trump’s decision to dump the Climate Action Plan, which was created by the Obama administration but has not yet been fully implemented. That would create 1.8 gigatonnes more CO2 in 2030 than the past administration had envisioned—about 31 percent of 2005 U.S. emissions. “This amounts to a very significant reversal of the downward trajectory that U.S. emissions have been on,” explains Bill Hare, one of the report authors and CEO of Climate Analytics, a nonprofit climate science and policy institute. “Under Trump’s policies the U.S. will fall far short of itsParisclimate goals.”