The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency reiterated his staunch opposition to the landmark Paris climate deal on Sunday and promised to begin work to roll back a hallmark environmental initiative of the Obama administration.
In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Scott Pruitt blasted the Paris climate accord ― an international agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions ― calling the effort “a bad deal.”
“You know, what was wrong with Paris was not just that it was, you know, failed to be treated as a treaty, but China and India, the largest producers of CO2 internationally, got away scot-free,” Pruitt said during the segment on ABC’s “This Week.”
“We’ve penalized ourselves through lost jobs while China and India didn’t take steps to address the issue internationally. So Paris was just a bad deal, in my estimation,” he added.
China is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases on the planet, followed by the United States, the European Union as a bloc and then India.
Pruitt also said President Donald Trump would begin work to reverse former President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which regulates emissions from coal-fired power plants, by signing an executive order to do so on Tuesday.
“With respect to this executive order that’s coming out on Tuesday, this is about making sure that we have a pro-growth and pro-environment approach to how we do regulation in this country,” Pruitt said.
Nearly 200 nations have signed on to the Paris Agreement, which aims to keep the world from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Scientists say we must not surpass that range if we want to avoid the worst effects of climate change. Many countries, including China and India, have submitted sweeping plans to curb emissions within the next few decades. Obama had planned to slash U.S. emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025.
Those plans, it seems, are now in jeopardy.
Pruitt drew near universal condemnation from the scientific community earlier this month when he said, once again, that he did not believe carbon dioxide is the cause of global warming.
“I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do and there’s tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact, so no, I would not agree that it’s a primary contributor to the global warming that we see,” he told CNBC. “We need to continue the debate and continue the review and the analysis.”
The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and nearly every scientific body on the planet disagrees.