Trump bids ‘adieu’ to us all

 

You may have heard this week about Donald Trump’s incredibly disappointing decision to come out of the Paris Agreement, the global accord for nations to reduce their carbon emissions year on year in a bid to keep the earth’s temperature rise to within two degrees.

The Agreement itself was a huge landmark when it was signed, as it was the first time that the issue of climate change was fully at the top of the global agenda and not just floundering in the ‘AOB’ section, as it were. In all, 196 countries signed the accord. The two countries not to sign were Nicaragua, who have their own ambitions to be 90% reliant on renewables by 2020 and who felt the Agreement’s ambitions were too limiting (bravo!), and Syria, whose civil war and imposed sanctions essentially made it impossible for the government to develop and submit a carbon reduction plan.

Trump’s decision is, in my humble opinion and many others’, incredibly shortsighted and really does set the US alone in the world, although the impacts of the decision could well, of course, have far-reaching effects on people and planet. As for Trump’s comment in his speech about other countries no longer laughing at the US? Hmm, well, I wouldn’t say that, exactly, Mr President…

What is heartening to hear is that many US cities, mayors, institutions and businesses are refusing to play ball and want to continue to pledge to the Agreement’s goals, submitting their own carbon reduction plans to the UN. Whether they can technically do this remains to be seen, but their response to Trump has been a resounding ‘not in our name’.

The US’ departure from the Agreement does not commence immediately, but rather is a signal of its intention to leave in the next three to four years (a bit like Brexit, in that regard). And between now and then, anything can happen.

As the French would say, on verra…

 

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