The Trump administration may finally be nearing a decision on whether to stay in the Paris Climate Agreement.
Now we know that visionary businessman Elon Musk, who founded SpaceX, Tesla, and a new, mysterious tunnel-building firm called the Boring Company, is talking to President Donald Trump about what to do regarding this agreement.
Given his role in alternative energy, it’s no surprise that Musk is in favor of the 2016 treaty.
The Paris agreement was negotiated under former president Barack Obama. And for the first time in decades of climate diplomacy, all nations agreed to take steps to cut emissions of planet-warming greenhouse gases based on their own timetables.
If the U.S. were to withdraw from the treaty, it’s likely to have global repercussions, potentially encouraging other nations to relax their emissions reduction commitments or leave the pact entirely.
In a tweet on Monday night, Musk said he has spoken with Trump and is urging him to stay in the agreement.
Musk is part of Trump’s business advisory council, for which he has received considerable criticism. He says he is remaining on it as a way to ensure that a diversity of views on particular matters, including climate change, make it to Trump’s desk.
Various advisors have been vying for the president’s ear on this landmark climate deal, from the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, to chief strategist Steve Bannon.
Some observers think the president will announce his decision about the Paris agreement later this week at the Group of 7 major industrialized nations’ summit in Sicily. While there, the U.S. will come under pressure from world leaders like German Chancellor Angela Merkel and new French President Emmanuel Macron to act on global warming, as it is a clear priority for other major industrialized nations.
Trump, for his part, has called climate change a hoax, vowed during the campaign to “cancel” the Paris agreement, and on Tuesday proposed a federal budget that zeroes out funding for international climate change assistance programs. The budget also slashes spending for U.S. climate research at the Environmental Protection Agency, Energy Department, and other agencies.