Quantcast
Popular
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Ng Han Guan / EPA

World Doubles Down on Climate Action, Prepares to Lead Without U.S.

In a statement to be released Friday, the EU and China will reaffirm support for the accords and present a joint strategy to reduce global emissions and lead the energy transition. At a joint press conference with German chancellor Angela Merkel this morning ahead of a two-day EU-China summit, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said climate change was "not invented by China" and that China will "shoulder [its] international responsibility."


Russia also reaffirmed support for the Paris accords ahead of President Donald Trump's decision, saying that the Kremlin "attaches great significance" to the deal. Should the U.S. exit the deal, it would be in lonely company: only Syria and Nicaragua have not signed on to the deal. While the overwhelming reaction has been critical of the enormous geopolitical, environmental, public health, national security, environmental justice and economic implications of Trump's exiting the agreement, some analysts argue that a U.S. exit could ultimately be beneficial for the accord's survival and success globally.

As reported by Politico, Trump could roll back U.S. climate policy and quit the non-binding goals of the agreement. However, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker emphasized that leaving the agreement entirely would not be easy.

"The climate deal says: It takes three, four years after the treaty took effect last November to exit the agreement," Juncker said. "That means the idea that you can simply disappear into thin air—that won't happen."

"The law is the law, and everyone has to stick to it," Juncker added. "Not everything which is law, and not everything which is written in international treaties, is fake news. You got to stick to that."

As the Washington Post's Chris Mooney and Brady Dennis reported Wednesday, 147 nations that have formally joined the agreement account for more than 80 percent of the planet's greenhouse gas emissions.

They said:

A U.S. withdrawal would remove the world's second-largest emitter and nearly 18 percent of the globe's present-day emissions from the agreement, presenting a severe challenge to its structure and raising questions about whether it would weaken the commitments of other nations.

China and the EU are planning not only to work together, but to lead the world as the U.S. steps down, The Guardian reported.

"No one should be left behind, but the EU and China have decided to move forward," EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete told The Guardian. "Our successful cooperation on issues like emissions trading and clean technologies are bearing fruit. Now is the time to further strengthen these ties to keep the wheels turning for ambitious global climate action."

For a deeper dive:

General global reaction: Washington Post, The Guardian, WSJ, The Atlantic, Boston Globe.

International emissions infographic: New York Times.

EU and China: Reuters, Bloomberg, The Guardian, Politico, FT. China: Reuters. Russia: CNBC, Reuters, The Independent. Nicaragua and Syria: Washington Post, CNN, The Guardian, USA Today, Washington Post (renewables).

International legal implications: Reuters.

Is the deal better off? Slate, Susan Matthews analysis, Washington Post, Chelsea Harvey analysis, Reuters, Richard Beales column, The New Republic, Emily Atkin analysis, Politico, Sara Stefanini analysis, The Hill, Ken Ward op-ed, Quartz, Akshat Rathi analysis.

Commentary: Washington Post, Ishaan Tharoor analysis, Newsweek, Andrew Hammond op-ed

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for daily Hot News.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Climate
Pexels

Cosmos Offers Clues to the Fate of Humans on Earth

By Marlene Cimons

Astrophysicist Adam Frank sees climate change through a cosmic lens. He believes our present civilization isn't the first to burn up its resources—and won't be the last. Moreover, he thinks it's possible the same burnout fate already might have befallen alien worlds. That's why he says the current conversation about climate change is all wrong. "We shouldn't be talking about saving the planet, because the Earth will go on without us," he said. "We should be talking about saving ourselves."

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Chicago skyline on April 20, 2017. Chris Favero / CC BY-SA 2.0

Big Cities, Bright Lights: Ranking the Worst Light Pollution on Earth

By Dipika Kadaba

The amount of artificial lighting is steadily increasing every year around the planet. It's a cause for celebration in remote villages in Africa and the Indian sub-continent that recently gained access to electricity for the first time, but it is also harming the health and well-being of residents of megacities elsewhere that continue to get bigger and brighter every year.

Health impacts of this artificial illumination after daylight hours range from depression to cancer, including a range of sleep disorders.

Keep reading... Show less
Business
velkr0 / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Texas Supreme Court Rules Cities Cannot Ban Plastic Bags

The Texas Supreme Court struck down the city of Laredo's plastic bag ban—a decision that will likely overturn similar bans in about a dozen other cities, including Austin, Fort Stockton and Port Aransas.

Keep reading... Show less
Politics
Ryan Zinke visits Wall Drug in Wall, South Dakota on May 25. Sherman Hogue / U.S. Dept. of the Interior

Report: Trump Admin. Suppressing Media Access of Government Scientists

A new Trump administration protocol requires U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists to run interview requests with the Department of the Interior, its parent agency, before speaking to journalists, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The move is a departure from past media practices that allowed government scientists to quickly respond to journalists' inquiries, according to unnamed USGS employees interviewed by the Times.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Climate
Icebergs calving from an ice shelf in West Antarctica. NASA / GSFC / Jefferson Beck / CC BY-SA 2.0

Good News From Antarctica: Rising Bedrock Could Save Vulnerable Ice Sheet

After last week's disturbing news that ice melt in Antarctica has tripled in the last five years, another study published Thursday offers some surprising good news for the South Pole and its vulnerable West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS).

The study, published in Science by an international research team, found that the bedrock below the WAIS is rising, a process known as "uplift," at record rates as melting ice removes weight, potentially stabilizing the ice sheet that scientists feared would be lost to climate change.

Keep reading... Show less
GMO
Soybeans with cupped leaves, a symptom of dicamba injury. University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture / Flickr / CC BY-NC 2.0

Dicamba Damage Roars Back for Third Season in a Row

University weed scientists have reported roughly 383,000 acres of soybean injured by a weedkiller called dicamba so far in 2018, according to University of Missouri plant sciences professor, Kevin Bradley.

Dicamba destroys mostly everything in its path except the crops that are genetically engineered (GE) to resist it. The drift-prone chemical can be picked up by the wind and land on neighboring non-target fields. Plants exposed to the chemical are left wrinkled, cupped or stunted in growth.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Food
Memphis Meats

FDA Takes First Steps to Regulating Lab-Grown Meat

By Dan Nosowitz

Lab-grown meat—also known as cultured meat or in vitro meat—has long been enticing for its potential environmental, social and economic benefits.

Keep reading... Show less
Politics
Scott Pruitt speaking at meeting at the USDA headquarters in Washington, DC, on Jan. 17. Lance Cheung / USDA

Breaking: Sierra Club Demands Pruitt’s Emails After Only 1 Disclosed by EPA

As part of ongoing litigation, the Sierra Club has demanded that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) search Scott Pruitt's personal email accounts for work-related emails, or certify clearly and definitively that the administrator has never used personal email for work purposes. The demand comes on the heels of a successfully litigated Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for all of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's email and other communications with all persons and parties outside the executive branch. These facts were first reported in Politico early this morning.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!