Giovedi, 23 Febbraio, 2017

Why Donald Trump's election might be a disaster for the environment

100 countries have now formally joined Paris agreement Election fatigue? Stress out about this new UN climate report instead.
Irmina Pasquarelli | 10 Novembre, 2016, 13:59

Worse than that, Geoffrey Kamese of Friends of the Earth Africa warned "Africans will pay with their lives for the results of the USA elections" as climate impacts strengthen.

Trump's election came days after the Paris deal came into force, and as leaders met in Morocco to put the deal into tangible action.

Until proved otherwise, negotiations will continue in the hope that the President Elect is more climate friendly than he's been letting on. They woke to find the worldwide climate process thrown into chaos.

The next president has questioned and vowed to withdraw from the Paris agreement to limit global warming, calling climate change a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese, pledged to lift restrictions on energy exploration, open federal lands to drilling, resuscitate the Keystone XL pipeline and reopen coal mines across the country. He added that he would nix the U.S.'s involvement in the Paris climate agreement, an accord that entered into force last week.

Donald Trump, who last night was elected the 45th president of the United States, took the stage just before 3 a.m. EST in NY to say that his opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, had called to concede the hard-fought race. When Science Debate asked him and the other presidential candidates about the issue, Trump focused on alternative spending priorities.

Trump made the so-called "war on coal" a major part of his campaign message, traveling across coal states attacking EPA regulations for hurting miners. Even as delegates sought to retain an air of normalcy virtually every conversation turned to Trump, and what the elevation of a climate denier to the White House meant for the global efforts to tackle climate change.

Otherwise, mass migration away from parts of the US that are increasingly underwater or experiencing extreme drought will ensue, along with numerous other unintended consequences of our fossil fuel addiction.

More than 100 countries, including the US, have formally joined the agreement, which seeks to reduce emissions of climate-warming greenhouse gases and help vulnerable countries adapt to rising seas, intensifying heat waves, the spreading of deserts and other climate changes.

While the U.S. would continue to be a party to the Paris Agreement, its participation in the process of finalising the rulebook for the treaty would change.

Delegates gathering at United Nations climate talks in Morocco fear their progress could be undone. US president-elect Donald Trump pledged during his campaign to back out of the deal.

Trump's threats, if carried out, would recast the United States as a climate villain, which is how it was widely perceived after George W. Bush refused to ratify the Kyoto Protocol in 2001. The worldwide community must not allow itself to be dragged into a race to the bottom.

To meet the aggressive targets set at Paris, countries will have to substantially ratchet up efforts to end reliance on fossil fuels over the next few years. However, "he can't, on his own, cancel the Paris climate agreement", Nicholas said.

"It's like driving down an interstate highway at 65 miles an hour and then virtually plunging into a wall, because it is going to bring progress to a halt", he said.

Trump has called the North American Free Trade agreement the "worst deal ever" and is opposed to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement among twelve of the Pacific Rim countries.

Besides, it also makes it mandatory to give a notice period of one year for withdrawal - it means the United States will not be able to pull out from the global deal within four years. The new administration might submit it to the Senate for ratification, which would likely be denied. The good news is that more than a hundred countries have already ratified the Paris Agreement and it came into force as worldwide law this week.

The election-night surprise occurred at the beginning of the first week of talks in Marrakech.

The election of a US president who has called global warming a "hoax" raised questions Wednesday about America's involvement in the Paris Agreement on climate change — and the future of the deal itself.

"If he (Trump) withdraws (from the Paris Climate Agreement), it means everything is going backwards and it will not be good for the world", said Weram Mannasseh Chlanga, a member of the Malawian delegation. The Clean Power Plan, which is central to the USA national climate action plan.

"Just look at what Trump has promised", a source close to Trump's transition team told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC.

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