Trump Administration Claims That 2.7 Million Jobs Were at Risk
White House officials and experts disagree on the number of jobs that the Paris Climate Agreement would have cost, with some claiming the withdrawal being a net negative for American jobs.
The U.S. exited the 190-plus-nation agreement that was meant to curtail carbon emissions and be a safeguard against the growing threat of climate change. President Donald Trump, however, argued that the bill would have been a jobs killer and would have not been as effective as advertised in curbing carbon emissions and the growth of climate change.
The accord was signed by former president Barack Obama and is one of the largest climate change multinational pacts ever created. The signing was viewed by many on the left and climate-change believers to be a step forward in the right direction.
Trump believed that the cost would outweigh the benefits, citing a NERA Economic Consultants study commissioned by the American Council for Capital Foundation, a conservative public interest group.
“Compliance with the terms of the Paris Accord and the onerous energy restrictions it has placed on the United States could cost America as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025,” Trump said. (Source: Ibid.)
The NERA study claimed that the Paris agreement would kill 12,000 manufacturing jobs by 2025, as well as 2.3 million jobs overall. NERA is an economic research firm that is part of Marsh & McLennan Companies, an insurance brokerage and risk management firm.
Environmental scientists and other economists have been doubtful about the numbers shown in the study. Some have even suggested that jobs might actually be lost as a result of the withdrawal from the treaty. The growth of the renewables industry is seen as a large proponent of jobs in the energy sector, especially when compared to the aging coal industry.
Others still believe that the numbers are at the very least exaggerated.
“Those are expensive sectors to get the emissions reductions,” said Marc Hafstead, a fellow at Resources for the Future, in an interview with CNN. “There are costs to reducing emissions. And there will be winners and losers. But when those costs are distributed equally, there’s a lot less job losses.”
“The NERA study grossly overstates the changes in output and jobs in heavy industry.” (Source: Ibid.)
“The real story behind Trump’s claim that Paris would kill 2.7 million jobs,” CNN Money, June 1, 2017.