Europe could impose carbon tax on US if Trump ignores Paris agreement

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While on the campaign trail, President-elect Donald Trumppromised to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement.

The agreement was ratified earlier this year. It required at least 55 countries representing 55 percent of global emissions to ratify it. The European Union, Canada and nine other countries bumped that total over the threshold.

"I will direct every agency in government to begin identifying all wasteful, job-killing regulations, and they are going to be removed. This will include lifting the restrictions on American energy," Trump said at a rally in North Carolina.

RELATED: Foods that could go extinct due to climate change

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Foods that could go extinct due to climate change
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Foods that could go extinct due to climate change

Avocados

There are many reasons why avocados are more expensive now than ever before, including a farmers' strike. But the biggest threats to avocados are rooted in environmental issues linked to climate change: hot weather and droughts have caused problems everywhere from California to Australia. Avocados are weather-sensitive and slow growing — making them especially susceptible to the effects of climate change. 

(Photo credit should read RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

Coffee

In September, a report from the nonprofit Climate Institute concluded that the area around the world fit for coffee production would decrease by 50% due to climate change. In addition to dealing with drought, climate change has made coffee crops more vulnerable to diseases like coffee rust, which have wiped out more than a billion dollars in crops. 

(Photo by Taylor Weidman/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Beer

Warmer and more extreme weather is hurting hops production in the US, reports ClimateWatch Magazine. 

And droughts could mean less tasty drinks. Some brewers fear that a shortage of river water may force them to brew with groundwater — a change that the head brewer at Lagunitas said "would be like brewing with Alka-Seltzer," according to NPR. 

(Photo via Getty Images)

Oysters

Right now, climate change is actually helping oysters, as they grow faster in warmer waters. However, warmer waters also make oysters more susceptible to oyster drills, reports Seeker, citing a recent study in Functional Ecology

Drills are snails that attack and eat oysters. They're already a multi-million dollar problem for the oyster industry that could get worse thanks to warming water temperatures.

(Photo via Getty Images)

Maple syrup

Climate change is already shifting maple syrup tapping season and impacting the quality of syrup, according to Climate Central. Southern producers fear that eventually, areas like Virginia won't get cold enough for maple syrup production, even during the chilliest time of the year. 

(Photo via Getty Images)

Chocolate

Indonesia and Ghana, which have historically had ideal climates for growing cocoa beans, are already seeing decreased yields of cocoa. Chocolate companies, like Mars, have hired meteorologists to study the impact of changing weather patterns and attempt to reduce damage. 

"If climate conditions in these growing areas begin to change over time, it may influence both the supply and quality available of an ingredient that we use in our products," Katie Johnson, a senior manager on the commercial applied research team, told Business Insider in September. "Anticipating what the climate will be like 10, 20, or even 100 years from now is difficult, though the better we can understand what the different climate scenarios and risks to our supply chain are, the more prepared we can be in the future."

(Photo by Charlotte Lake / Alamy)

Lobsters

If ocean waters increase more than five degrees, baby lobsters may not be able to survive, according to research by the University of Maine Darling Marine Center and Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences, the Guardian reported. 

The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has said that the Gulf of Maine will reach that temperature by 2100. In other words, Maine's lobsters could go from a more than $330 million business to extinct in 84 years. 

(Photo via Getty Images)

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But because the agreement is already in full effect, Trump can't formally withdraw from it — although he could simply ignore it.

More from Newsy: The Paris Agreement May Not Do What It's Supposed To

The Paris Agreement does not include any legally binding emissions goals, only a promise by each country to try to pursue and strengthen the goals it set.

But former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has called for economic sanctions if Trump doesn't adhere to the agreement.

Sarkozy's criticism is more significant than other former European leaders'. He seems to be the frontrunner for the nomination from the center-right Les Républicains party. French presidential elections are coming up, and if he wins, he would become Trump's counterpart.

According to Radio France Internationale, Sarkozy said, "I will demand that Europe put in place a carbon tax at its border, a tax of 1-3 percent, for all products coming from the United States, if the United States doesn't apply environmental rules that we are imposing on our companies."

The threat of a carbon tax, combined with a hit to the United States' international reputation, could make Trump think twice about "pulling out of the deal."

The Paris Agreement was finalized quickly, in part, because of concerns about U.S. participation if Trump was elected. The president-elect has already started easing up on campaign promises, so it's unclear if he'll follow through with this one.

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