Friday, June 9, 2017

FactChecking Trump’s Climate Speech

In announcing that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris Agreement, a global accord aimed at addressing climate change, President Donald Trump made more than a few false and misleading claims:
  • Trump said the U.S. would be exposed to “massive legal liability if we stay in” the Paris Agreement. But there is no liability mechanism in the Paris Agreement. International environmental law experts tell us that pulling out of the agreement won’t reduce U.S. exposure to liability claims and, in fact, may increase it.
  • Trump called China and India the “world’s leading polluters,” referring to carbon emissions. That’s not accurate. China and the U.S. were the top emitters per kiloton in 2015.
  • The president also falsely said “nobody even knows where the money [in the Green Climate Fund] is going to.” The fund’s website outlines all of the projects that have been funded.
  • Trump said the agreement would cost “close to $3 trillion in lost GDP.” That’s one estimate from a report for a business-funded group that found a much smaller impact under a different scenario. Yet another analysis said the impact of meeting the emissions targets would be “modest.”
  • Trump again took credit for job gains, saying the economy has added more than a million private sector jobs since his election. That’s true, but only 493,000 of them were added since he took office.
The Paris Agreement was reached on Dec. 12, 2015. It builds on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and it was accepted by all but two of the 197 countries that were party to the convention.

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