While Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will never admit it, the 2015 Paris climate treaty Canada signed with great fanfare died last week. It died because of the release of U.S. President Donald Trump’s 2018 budget plan.
While Trump has to get it through the U.S. Congress, which means parts of it are unlikely to survive, his clear intention to gut U.S. climate change policy by dismantling the Environmental Protection Agency spells the death knell for the Paris treaty.
Trump is proposing deeper cuts to the EPA than any other government agency, reducing its $8.2 billion budget by 31%, laying off 19% of its 15,000 staff and cutting 50 programs.
That includes funding for Barack Obama’s signature climate change initiative, his Climate Action Plan, to reduce America’s use of coal-fired electricity.
Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, made the president’s intention crystal clear Thursday.
“Regarding the question of climate change … We’re not spending money on that anymore,” Mulvaney said. “We consider that to be a waste of your money … ”
That means the U.S., the world’s second-largest emitter of industrial greenhouse gases (China’s first), has effectively pulled out of the Paris treaty, regardless of whether it formally withdraws.
As the leader of the developed world, America’s participation in the