Senate Democrats push Trump to stay in Paris climate deal

Senate Democrats push Trump to stay in Paris climate deal
© Greg Nash

Senate Democrats on Wednesday urged President Trump to stay in the Paris climate change agreement ahead of his first major international summit as president. 

Forty Democrats sent Trump a letter telling him not to pull the U.S. out of the Paris agreement. Trump and several top White House officials have debated American involvement in the agreement, which is designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions on a country-by-country basis. 

The White House has said Trump will decide on the U.S.’s status after the Group of Seven discussion in Italy this weekend. 

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In their letter and at a press conference on Wednesday, Democrats repeated several of the key arguments for staying in the deal put forward by environmentalists, international officials and the private sector

Leaving the deal, they argue, would disadvantage U.S. businesses as the world transitions to cleaner energy, and it would abdicate American international leadership on climate change to countries like China. 

“Withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement would be a historic misstep that would massively disadvantage both American businesses and diplomats and our environment,” Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump is right: The visa lotto has got to go Schumer predicts bipartisan support for passing DACA fix this year No room for amnesty in our government spending bill MORE (D-N.Y.) said on Wednesday. 

Opponents of the Paris deal say the agreement handcuffs the U.S. because the Obama administration pledged to cut American greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent under the deal. 

They say the U.S. should either leave the Paris agreement or have the deal, which is not binding, go to the Senate for ratification, where it would likely fail. 

Democrats say pulling out of the pact will hurt the U.S. more than help it. 

“This isn’t just a climate question, this isn’t just an economic question, this isn’t just an environmental question," Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said. "This is a question of whether or not the U.S. will continue to be an indispensable nation."