A WEAKENED TREATY
The U.S. is the world's largest economy and its second greatest polluter. Experts worry that if the U.S. abandons its public commitment to combat climate change--a move that could negatively impact the global effort to lower carbon emissions--it may trigger other countries to follow suit, weakening the accord.
LOST ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY
In 2016, there was a nearly $300 billion global investment in clean energy--a figure that was expected to grow with the accord, since fighting climate change means embracing renewable energy. A U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement could signal to investors that the U.S. has little interest in capturing that market.
A U.S. withdrawal will likely be seen as an affront to U.S. allies in Europe, weakening key relationships. It will put the U.S. in the position of being a lone dissenter in climate-change discussions, and could result in the U.S. being excluded from high-level diplomatic gatherings altogether.