Donald Trump is set to tear up the Paris Agreement on climate change, a former White House advisor has warned.
Myron Ebell, who headed up the President’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) transition team, said he could pull out of the global pact to cut emissions ‘by executive order tomorrow’.
During his election campaign, Trump pledged to boost oil, gas drilling and coal mining industries by slashing regulation.
He also promised to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, but told the New York Times in November that he had an ‘open mind’ on the pact.
Ebell, who is director of global warming at think tank the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said: ‘The US will clearly change its course on climate policy. Trump has made it clear he will withdraw from the Paris Agreement.
‘He could do it by executive order tomorrow or he could do it as part of a larger package.’
He said it was difficult to predict the timing of any action because government departments are still in transition, adding that he had not met Trump in person.
Any country wanting to pull out of the Paris Agreement after signing up has to wait four years.
But a source on Trump’s transition team suggested last year there were speedier alternatives.
These include sending a letter withdrawing from the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the parent treaty of the agreement; voiding US involvement in both in a year’s time; or issuing a presidential order simply deleting the US signature from the Paris Agreement.
Ebell said the ‘cleanest way’ would be to withdraw from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change itself.
He said: ‘Whether the UN secretariat wants the U.S. to continue to have a seat at the table is up to them. I don’t think Trump cares about that.
‘The people who elected him would prefer not to have a seat at the table.’
Trump appointed Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who has led 14 lawsuits against the EPA, as the agency’s administrator, although a vote on his nomination has not been scheduled.