President Donald Trump has been talking about pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate change agreement since the election, but he had yet to formally confirm or initiate the move.
Today, rumors came out that he made the decision of pulling out and that it is now only about how they plan to do so.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who is on the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum and manufacturing council, has been advising the President to stay committed to the Paris agreement and he now threatens to quit the councils if the rumors are true.
Axios came out with a report this morning about Trump making a decision on the agreement:
“President Trump has made his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the decision. Details on how the withdrawal will be executed are being worked out by a small team including EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. They’re deciding on whether to initiate a full, formal withdrawal — which could take 3 years — or exit the underlying United Nations climate change treaty, which would be faster but more extreme.”
Following the report, Musk said that he is not aware that a decision has been made and reiterated that he advised the President not to withdraw:
Only last week, he said that he talked directly with the President and that he was “cautiously optimistic of a positive decision.”
Now he says that he will have “no choice” but to resign from his positions on Trump’s councils if the rumors are correct:
Some were glad that someone like Musk, who made it his mission to accelerate the advent of sustainable energy, had access to the President, but his link to the administration also attracted a backlash from some fans and Model 3 reservation holders.
Musk justified his role on the councils earlier this year in a statement:
“Advisory councils simply provide advice and attending does not mean that I agree with actions by the Administration. My goals are to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy and to help make humanity a multi-planet civilization, a consequence of which will be the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs and a more inspiring future for all. I understand the perspective of those who object to my attending this meeting, but I believe at this time that engaging on critical issues will on balance serve the greater good.”
But if his advice fall on deaf ears and Trump pulls out of the Paris agreement anyway, it sounds like there’s no point for him to stay.
The Paris agreement simply outlined a common set of goals for countries to curb emissions and only Nicaragua and Syria didn’t support it. While the agreement is not binding, the U.S. leaving would send a clear message that Trump’s administration has no interest in leading the sustainable energy revolution.