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Trump Returns to G20, Rails Against Paris Accord

But Joe Biden plans to rejoin the global climate pact
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 22, 2020 12:00 PM CST

(Newser) – President Trump railed against the Paris climate accord on Sunday, telling world leaders at a virtual summit that the agreement was designed to cripple the US economy, not save the planet, the AP reports. "To protect American workers, I withdrew the United States from the unfair and one-sided Paris climate accord, a very unfair act for the United States," Trump said in a video statement to the Group of 20 summit hosted by Saudi Arabia. His comments came during a discussion among the world's largest economies on safeguarding the Earth. President-elect Joe Biden, who takes office in January, has said he will rejoin the global pact that the US helped forge five years ago. Trump contended the accord was "not designed to save the environment. It was designed to kill the American economy."

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Trump, who has worked to undo most of President Obama's efforts to fight climate change, said that since withdrawing from the climate agreement, the US has reduced carbon emissions more than any nation. That is true, but not that remarkable. With its giant economy, the US has far more raw emissions of climate-damaging carbon dioxide to cut than any other country except China. Since 2005, the US hasn't been even in the top 10 in percentage of greenhouse gas emission reductions. More than 180 nations have ratified the accord, which aims to keep the increase in average temperatures worldwide "well below" 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Scientists say any further rise could have a devastating impact, raising sea levels, stoking tropical storms, and worsening droughts and floods.

(Read more climate change stories.)

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