US Elections 2016

Trump vows to cancel Paris climate pact

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaking at a rally in San Diego on May 27.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaking at a rally in San Diego on May 27.PHOTO: AFP

BISMARCK (North Dakota) • Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has promised to roll back some of the US' most ambitious environmental policies, actions that he said would revive the ailing US oil and coal industries and bolster national security.

Among the proposals, he said he would pull the US out of the United Nations global climate accord, approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada and rescind measures by President Barack Obama to cut US emissions and protect waterways from industrial pollution.

"Any regulation that's outdated, unnecessary, bad for workers or contrary to the national interest will be scrapped and scrapped completely," Mr Trump said on Thursday at an oil-and-gas sector conference in Bismarck, capital of North Dakota, in his first speech detailing the energy policies he would push if elected.

"We're going to do all this while taking proper regard for rational environmental concerns."

His remarks drew criticism from environmental advocates, who called them "frightening".

They were a contrast to those of Democratic rivals Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, who advocate moving towards renewable energy technologies. Mr Trump slammed them in his speech, saying their policies would kill jobs and force the US "to be begging for oil again" from the Middle East.

Earlier this month, he told Reuters he would renegotiate "at a minimum" the climate accord agreed in Paris last December. He took that a step further in North Dakota. "We're going to cancel the Paris climate agreement," he said.

However, UN climate chief Christiana Figueres said Mr Trump would be "highly unlikely" to be able to renegotiate the accord, as doing so would require the agreement of the 195 countries that signed it.

The rules also state that any nation wanting to leave the pact has to wait four years from the date of the agreement's entry into force - the length of a US presidential term.

Mr Trump said he would invite TransCanada to reapply to build the Keystone XL pipeline into the US. "I want it built, but I want a piece of the profits," he said.

He also hit Mrs Clinton hard in his speech, saying her policies would put coal miners out of work.

Mrs Clinton, on her part, called her likely rival "an unqualified loose cannon", telling CNN that close US allies are "rattled" by the threat he represents.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 28, 2016, with the headline 'In for a bashing Trump vows to cancel Paris climate pact'. Print Edition | Subscribe