EU Leaders Put Foot Down over Climate, Telling Trump: ‘No Paris Agreement, no trade agreement’

(EnviroNews Headline News Desk) — In June of 2017, President Donald Trump announced the United States would leave the Paris Climate Agreement (the Accord/Agreement) unless the terms were changed to be more favorable for America. That decision has become a point of contention in trade negotiations with the European Union (EU). But last week, European leaders sent a strong message to Trump: no Paris Agreement, no trade deals.

“One of our main demands is that any country who signs a trade agreement with EU should implement the Paris Agreement on the ground,” said France’s Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Baptiste LeMoyne, drawing a hard line in the sand. “No Paris Agreement, no trade agreement. The U.S. knows what to expect.”

This puts the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) in jeopardy. The TTIP is supposed to encourage trade and enrich both the EU and the U.S. However, with Trump’s election, TTIP talks were delayed. And now, with the Paris Accord tied to trade agreements, the TTIP may have seen its last gasp.

EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström has the responsibility and authority to reopen TTIP talks. If there was any doubt about her position on the Paris Agreement, she made her thoughts clear when she tweeted support for LeMoyne, her position reiterating that the Paris Agreement needs to be included in all EU trade deals, also saying it will be part of trade deals with Japan and Mexico. The Accord has already been tied to pacts with Mercosur countries – Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay. Malmström hopes the trade agreement with Japan will “enter into force” by the end of 2018.

Per United Nations (UN) treaty rules, the U.S. can’t leave the Paris Agreement until 2020. The United States is the only country that has opted out of the treaty. At the time of its original signing, 195 of 197 nations agreed to the historic climate change treaty: Nicaragua felt it wasn’t strong enough, while Syria was engaged in a civil war. Both countries have since indicated they will come on board with the agreement.

Currently, 174 countries have ratified the Paris Accord. Russia will likely ratify the treaty in 2019. Turkey however, has moved away from the Agreement because its president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, believes developing countries need more money to meet the demands of the Accord — an assertion Trump opposes.

In the final analysis, the Agreement has no mechanism for enforcement, and each country will need to decide on the measures it will take to keep the overall global temperature from rising 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrialization levels, while encouraging sustainable development with lower greenhouse gas emissions.

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