A debate is underway in the Trump Administration regarding the future of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. According to news reports, one side advocates an immediate US withdrawal from the agreement. On the other side are those concerned that withdrawal would have adverse effects on US relationships around the world. History suggests that this latter group is correct. Pulling out of the Paris accord would be a similar to what occurred 16 years ago, when the Bush Administration abruptly exited the Kyoto Protocol without suggesting any path forward.
Much of the current debate on Paris focuses on the legal actions that the Administration would need to take to extricate the US from the agreement. This is a distraction.
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