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Elon Musk draws a line in the sand over Trump–Paris decision

Musk says he has done all he can to advise Donald Trump before the president makes his decision on the Paris Agreement.


Phillip Tracy


Posted on May 31, 2017   Updated on May 23, 2021, 4:39 am CDT

Elon Musk said in a tweet Wednesday that he will leave Donald Trump’s advisory council if the president withdraws the country from the Paris climate change agreement.

Trump has yet to make an official statement on the matter, but earlier this morning news site Axios reported Trump would pull the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, according to “two sources with direct knowledge of the decision.”

“Don’t know which way Paris will go, but I’ve done all I can to advise directly to POTUS, through others in WH & via councils, that we remain,” Musk said on Twitter on Wednesday.

He then said he’d be forced to leave the council if Trump goes against his recommendation.

The Paris Agreement is a comprehensive framework signed by 195 countries to end greenhouse gas emissions and slow global climate change. There are no penalties for exiting the agreement or failing to meet targets, but every country involved is forced to create its own individual plan to reduce greenhouse emissions.

Under Obama, the U.S. agreed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025. China similarly agreed to get 20 percent of all of its energy from renewable resources by 2020.

If Trump agrees to leave the Paris Agreement, the U.S. would join Syria and Nicaragua as the only countries not participating.

Musk is a member of two of Trump’s councils and has visited the White House three times to discuss infrastructure spending and manufacturing with the president. The Tesla and SpaceX CEO came under fire for remaining on the president’s council after Trump signed an executive order to ban immigrants from six Muslim-majority countries.

Trump will announce his decision on the Paris Agreement in the next few days.

Update 3:29pm CT, June 1: Musk said on Twitter he will be leaving the advisory boards after President Trump announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord on Thursday.

Trump broadcast his decision Thursday at the White House Rose Garden.

“In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord but being negotiations to reenter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction under terms that are fair to the United States,” Trump said.

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*First Published: May 31, 2017, 4:40 pm CDT