Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Trump Cannot Derail Paris Climate Deal

Climate

Donald Trump's statement that he would want to renegotiate the Paris agreement on climate change if he is elected U.S. president is “meaningless” one seasoned British climate expert said.

“Donald Trump doesn’t appear to know much about anything except headlines,” Tom Burke told the Climate News Network. “He knows less than most of the political leaders I’ve dealt with in the last 40 years. This is meaningless posturing.”

Donald Trump’s climate doubts cannot sway the rest of the world. Photo credit: Wikimedia

Burke, a former head of Friends of the Earth UK, is chairman of E3G, a group which works to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy.

In an interview with Reuters news agency Trump said he was “not a big fan” of the Paris climate accord, which provides for reductions in carbon emissions by more than 170 countries. He said he would want to renegotiate the deal because, in his view, it treats the U.S. unfairly and gives favorable treatment to countries like China.

“I will be looking at that very, very seriously and at a minimum I will be renegotiating those agreements, at a minimum. And at a maximum I may do something else,” the Republican frontrunner told Reuters.

Vacuous

There are concerns that any such renegotiation of the deal would be a significant setback for the first truly global climate accord, which commits both rich and poor nations to tackling the rise in the greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet.

France’s former foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, one of the chief architects of the Paris agreement, said recently: “Think about the impact of the coming U.S. presidential elections. If a climate change denier was to be elected, it would threaten dramatically global action against climate disruption.”

But Burke scorns the idea that Trump—if he means what he says about renegotiation and if he wins the presidency—could do serious damage to the agreement.

“This is a vacuous piece of posturing, a message to his potential supporters on the political right,” he said. “If the media interrogated Trump rigorously, people would recognise him as a soap bubble."

“Who would he renegotiate the agreement with? He can’t renegotiate on his own and the rest of the world is moving on," Burke added.

“Trump can do what George W Bush did when he was president: he can withdraw the U.S. from its obligations, as Bush did with the Kyoto Protocol. But it made no difference," he explained.

“Trump can repudiate the agreement, but it won’t make a scrap of difference to the rest of the world. The drive towards a low-carbon economy is being propelled, not by law, not by constraints, but by opportunity. China and the U.S. reached a deal in Paris because it was in their interests to do so. What Trump cannot do is renegotiate the agreement,” Burke said.

What Trump’s own supporters will think of his statement is anyone’s guess. A recent survey found that more than half of them believe global warming is happening. Although almost all those surveyed blamed natural causes, nearly half thought the U.S. should reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions, regardless of what other countries did.

Burke thinks many people have not yet recognized how little Trump really knows. “All this sends a very negative signal to the rest of the world, that he’d be a very ignorant president,” he said.

“And of course it sends a clear signal to people who have property in Florida: sell now while sea levels still leave you something to sell,” he added.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

13 House Reps Sent Letters to 17 Attorneys General and 8 NGOs Defending Exxon

Al Gore’s Groundbreaking Film … 10 Years Later

If President, Trump Would ‘Renegotiate’ Climate Deal

Historic Victory: 4 Teenagers Win in Massachusetts Climate Change Lawsuit

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

These seven cookbooks by Black chefs have inspired the author's family. LightFieldStudios / Getty Images

By Zahida Sherman

Cooking has always intimidated me. As a child, I would anxiously peer into the kitchen as my mother prepared Christmas dinner for our family.

Read More Show Less
Hand sanitizer is offered to students during summer school sessions at Happy Day School in Monterey Park, California on July 9, 2020. FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded its list of potentially toxic hand sanitizers to avoid because they could be contaminated with methanol.

Read More Show Less
Over the next couple of weeks, crews will fully remove the 125-foot-wide, 25-foot-tall dam, allowing the Middle Fork Nooksack to run free for the first time in 60 years. Ctyonahl / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 3.0

By Tara Lohan

The conclusion to decades of work to remove a dam on the Middle Fork Nooksack River east of Bellingham, Washington began with a bang yesterday as crews breached the dam with a carefully planned detonation. This explosive denouement is also a beginning.

Read More Show Less
A man observes a flooded stretch of Dock Street in Annapolis, Maryland on Jan. 25, 2010. Matt Rath / Chesapeake Bay Program

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said Tuesday that a trend of increased coastal flooding will continue to worsen as the climate crisis escalates.

Read More Show Less
A new tool called The Food Systems Dashboard aims to save decision makers time and energy by painting a complete picture of a country's food system. Photo courtesy of Dr. Jessica Fanzo and Dr. Rebecca McLaren

By Katie Howell

A new tool called The Food Systems Dashboard aims to save decision makers time and energy by painting a complete picture of a country's food system. Created by the Johns Hopkins' Alliance for a Healthier World, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Dashboard compiles food systems data from over 35 sources and offers it as a public good.

Read More Show Less
White's seahorse, also called the Sydney seahorse, is native to the Pacific waters off Australia's east coast. Sylke Rohrlach / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Manuela Callari

It can grow to a maximum of six inches (16 centimeters), change color depending on mood and habitat, and, like all seahorses, the White's seahorse male gestates its young. But this tiny snouted fish is under threat.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks at a "Build Back Better" Clean Energy event on July 14, 2020 at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware. Joe Biden / Facebook

Presidential hopeful Joe Biden announced a $2 trillion plan Tuesday to boost American investment in clean energy and infrastructure.

Read More Show Less