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It looks like the US is leaving the Paris Agreement!

When writing this President Trump has just confirmed that he will announce his decision weather or not to stay in the Paris Agreement tonight at 21.00 CET.

Unnamed sources from the White House have consistently indicated that Trump would be intending to leave the Agreement, and that only the details how to do it are open at the moment. Legally the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement takes years and cannot happen before November 2020. A faster route to leave the Paris Agreement would be to withdraw from the UN Climate Convention which can be done in one year, and would also result the US to leave the Paris Agreement simultaneously.

These rumours have already spurred great number diplomatic responses all condemning the possible exit, while at the same time all countries have confirmed their firm commitment to the Agreement and its implementation. Number of US States, cities and business have also urged President Trump not leave the Agreement and have insisted to continue climate action in line with the Paris Agreement despite Trump’s decisions.

CAN Europe’s intended communication in case the US decides to exit the Paris Agreement is to confirm that the world is rightfully outraged, while at the same time welcoming the statements from all other countries to keep to their commitments and action. Countries all over the world see the Paris Agreement as an engine for growth and jobs. The EU is already strengthening its climate alliances with countries like China and Canada to ensure that international efforts to tackle climate change continue and increase. The EU needs to step up its game now, to trigger more climate action and smooth the way for scaling up the Paris climate pledges.

The EU-China Summit that is taking place in Brussels 1-2.6. is placed very timely in case the US pull out of the Paris Agreement happens. The EU and China can show that any vacuum left by the US withdrawal will be filled by other countries stepping up. The joint declaration is expected to confirm the two countries commitment to the Paris Agreement, its implementation and to increasing action over time. Some paragraphs should confirm deeper cooperation in the field of energy, energy savings, renewable energy and electric mobility. The two countries are also expected to commit to help poorer countries in coping with the impacts of climate change. There should also be some language about the 2018 Facilitated Dialogue.

At the G7 Summit that took place in Taormina Italy 26-27.5. climate change remained high on the agenda with all the G6 leaders tried to convince Trump to remain in the Paris Agreement. In the final communique, as well as in the press reporting Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom as well as the EU reaffirmed their strong commitment to swiftly implement the Paris Agreement

At the UNFCCC negotiations in May in Bonn governments kept calm and carried out the Paris rulebook negotiations in an orderly manner. The APA adopted conclusions outlining intersessional and pre-sessional work under each substantive agenda items. That is NDCs features, their transparency and accounting, adaptation communication, the overall transparency framework for action and support, stocktake and other modalities and procedures. There were no fights or big political battles foreseen at the UNFCCC this year, all the major deadlines are coming up only in 2018.

By Ulriikka Aarnio 

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