WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 31: U.S. President Donald Trump makes an announcement during a meeting with the National Association of Manufacturers in the Roosevelt Room of the White House March 31, 2017 in Washington, DC. President Trump signed two executive orders today that aim to boost U.S. manufacturing by addressing foreign trade. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)
What happens if U.S. pulls out of Paris climate accord?
03:08 - Source: CNN

Editor’s Note: John D. Sutter is a columnist for CNN who focuses on climate change and social justice. Follow him on Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook or subscribe to his email newsletter.

CNN  — 

Will he or won’t he?

That’s the question every policy wonk who cares about climate change has been asking since election night in November. With the he, of course, being Donald Trump. And the topic being the Paris Agreement on climate change – and whether the US President plans to bail.

For weeks, Trump and his administration have been taunting the media and global leaders with possible deadlines – which then are retracted – and with meetings of senior Cabinet officials, which have been postponed. First, the decision was going to come before the G7 meeting in Europe. Then, on Saturday, Trump tweeted during that meeting that he will make his “final decision” on this all-important climate accord “next week!” (Punctuation his).

This eternal back-and-forth prompted John Upton, a writer at Climate Central, to say Trump is drawing all of us into his “game show.” Narrative tension, set. Tune in for the showcase showdown – except instead of cash or cars the question here is whether the all-important Paris Agreement will survive and, consequently, whether the planet is likely screwed.

Of course, it’s not new for the reality TV host-turned-president to be critiqued for using cliffhanger TV production techniques to keep the American public craving new episodes in his presidency. But it’s worth stepping back for just a moment to remember exactly how much is at stake in what Trump calls his forthcoming “final decision” on this matter.

The Paris Agreement could literally save the planet