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With Trump budget, U.S. to shred Paris commitments

BOSTON—Today, President Trump released his national budget proposal. In addition to massive cuts to international aid, the proposal would gut numerous agencies and programs including those meant to protect the environment. Trump has taken aim at the Environmental Protection Agency with the largest cut-- 31% of its budget--  specifically to defund the Clean Power Plan (CPP) and most programs related to climate change.  

This budget proposal will be catastrophic for U.S. climate policy and will also defund international climate change programs directly. The combination of these cuts will have severe implications for international climate policy. The CPP is the centerpiece of the U.S.’s commitments to the Paris Agreement. Without it, there is no possible way the U.S. will come close to the 26-28% emissions cuts below its 2005 level it promised by 2025.

Please see International Policy Director Tamar Lawrence-Samuel’s statement below:

“In this case, money truly does talk. If approved, these cuts will have far-reaching consequences for people and the planet. At the behest of the fossil fuel industry and the utilities that have attacked the CPP since its conception, Trump’s budget would doom people to a world where the air is unbreathable and the water undrinkable,  for the sake of corporate profits.

The Clean Power Plan is not just domestic environmental policy, it’s the centerpiece of the U.S.’s commitment to the Paris Agreement. By defunding the CPP, the U.S. will be turning its back on its commitments to the agreement and its 134 Parties.

But while the U.S. may not bring anything to the table, it certainly will not show up empty handed. Former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson will use his seat at the table to advance the interests of his fossil fuel benefactors. As their man on the inside, he’ll work with other obstinate governments and big polluting trade associations to undermine, block and delay progress.

Not only does the U.S. want to be dealt in without buying in, it has cards up its sleeve.

While governments may be unable to prevent the Trump Administration from meddling in these vitally important talks, they can protect the process from fossil fuel industry front groups by advancing a conflict of interest policy at the next round of negotiations in May. With Trump and Tillerson at the helm, the future of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) may depend on it.”

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