Since Trump`s announcement in the Rose Garden last year, two major rounds of negotiations have taken place in Germany at the headquarters of the Framework Convention on Climate Change to develop a “settlement” of the Paris Agreement. The U.S. State Department continues to show itself and the positions of the negotiating teams have not been embarrassing so far. Most of the time, the negotiations are a little more difficult because of the lack of leadership left by the United States, which had finally become a constructive presence in Obama`s second term. Under bright sunshine and blue skies, President Donald Trump was on a podium in the rose garden today a year ago to announce that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate accord. As Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt beamed at the forefront, Trump described the pact signed by any other nation on earth as “an agreement that disadvantages the United States for the exclusive good of other countries.” However, Pruitt said the United States had “advanced all our costs” under the Paris agreement, while “China or India have no obligation under the agreement until 2030.” Indeed, the Paris Agreement is the first climate pact that imposes emission reduction commitments on all 190 nations that have signed it, while each commitment is different and determined by different countries. Although countries such as France and Germany quickly reaffirmed their commitments to the agreement, countries such as India and Russia could still view the US withdrawal as a pretext to reduce their own commitments. “Paris plays an important role when it created a framework, but Paris is not the end of the story. This is just the beginning,” Millar said.
To put it simply, the question of whether Trump remains in the agreement does not mean much if the main means of compliance – the Clean Power Plan – is overturned. On the other hand, if states and businesses move in the direction the plan intends to implement without it, Trump`s drainage will lose power. After the withdrawal, many even said they intended to strengthen their plans to reduce CO2 emissions in response. All of this has more influence on the atmosphere than Trump`s rhetoric around Paris. While he is keen to emphasize the role of the agreement as a springboard for further action, Millar notes that its effects are “actually quite boring” – and he establishes an ongoing process in which world leaders can constantly reassess their mitigation promises. The weekend`s mixed signals have kept reporters busy. The confusion surrounding the agreement may have made more of the front page of climate change than the series of cyclones that have hit the Caribbean and the southern United States in recent weeks, whose strengths may be linked to rising temperatures and sea levels.