The International community wait with growing despair as news that Donald Trump is about to announce US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. The most important international agreement in the world would lose one of the biggest nations and a member of the G7.
There seems to be a growing rift between the USA and Europe particularly on climate change issues. President Trump is well known for his doubts about the reality of climate change and regards spending on NATO as much more important than reducing carbon emissions
It looks like as the USA becomes the world’s most important climate change denier, China has stepped up to the centre stage. Chinese and EU leaders are set to announce an agreement reinforcing the agreement.
Much will depend on what Trump decides to do, as importantly there are several options even in withdrawing. He may just give notice of an intent to withdraw from the agreement, this actually has a formal process which takes twelve months. He could withdraw from the Framework Convention on Climate Change – this is the only treaty which has been officially ratified by the Senate.
He also has the option of actually staying in the agreement but ignoring all the emission targets and international aid components. None of these are binding yet form an important part of the agreement. There is still hope that he may choose an option of staying in the agreement and it’s perhaps just some sort of negotiating ploy.
There are meetings now in Germany which can be picked up from the BBC Deutschland video streams and international news section. These also include the Chinese Premier reaffirming his commitment which is an important part considering it now forms the second largest economy in the world.
The Chinese premier stated that they had an international responsibility to try and prevent the increase in climate change. There is little doubt though that the effectiveness will be hugely reduced if America suddenly leaves the agreement. Not only would the goals be very difficult to achieve, the USA contributes a massive 15% of global emissions of carbon on it’s own. However there is likely to be an impact on finance and technology for developing countries seeking to reduce their own emissions and fight the rising temperatures.
Environmentalists including many prominent Native American organisations have reacted with despair. Many are quoted including Michael Brune, who called the move as a ‘historic mistake which our grandchildren will look back on with stunned dismay’.
It is the time when instead of merely looking on a President Trumps shenanigans with mild amusement, he now is poised to cause real harm to the rest of the world.
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