Trump Plans to Quit Paris Deal, Hires Climate Denier for EPA Transition Team
The options include withdrawing from the parent treaty, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, entirely or issuing a presidential order to delete the U.S. signature from the climate deal.
Before leaving for Marrakech on Sunday, Sec. of State John Kerry said that the Obama administration would do everything possible to implement the global agreement before Trump takes office.
In an interview, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Europe should respond with a trade war and institute a carbon tax for U.S. products if Trump backs out.
Backing out of the Paris agreement isn't the only anti-environment plan Trump has been touting. He has also said he wants to dismantle the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and revoke the Clean Power Plan.
Trump's man-in-charge of leading the transition at the EPA is Myron Ebell, a known climate denier who opposes the Clean Power Plan and advocates for opening up more federal lands to logging, coal mining and oil drilling.
He is a director at fossil-fuel-funded Competitive Enterprise Institute and leads the Cooler Heads Coalition, which focuses on "dispelling the myths of global warming."
One scholar points out that Trump's attempts to weaken the EPA are reminiscent of Reagan's appointment of Anne Gorsuch Burford to head the agency, whose attempts to dismantle EPA in the early 1980s resulted in heavy criticism and pushback.
For a deeper dive:
Commentary: Guardian editorial
The move comes after regional authorities declared a state of emergency over the weekend after sightings of more than 50 bears in the town of Belushya Guba since December.
This year's letter from Bill and Melinda Gates focused on nine things that surprised them. For the Microsoft-cofounder, one thing he was surprised to learn was the massive amount of new buildings the planet should expect in the coming decades due to urban population growth.
"The number of buildings in the world is going to double by 2060. It's like we're going to build a new New York City every month for the next 40 years," he said.
By Shana Udvardy
After a dearth of action on climate change and a record year of extreme events in 2017, the inclusion of climate change policies within the annual legislation Congress considers to outline its defense spending priorities (the National Defense Authorization Act) for fiscal year 2018 was welcome progress. House and Senate leaders pushed to include language that mandated that the Department of Defense (DoD) incorporate climate change in their facility planning (see more on what this section of the bill does here and here) as well as issue a report on the impacts of climate change on military installations. Unfortunately, what DoD produced fell far short of what was mandated.
Trump is losing his rallying cry to save coal. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) voted on Thursday to retire two coal-fired power plants in the next few years despite a plea from the president to keep one of the plants open.
Earlier this week, the president posted an oddly specific tweet that urged the government-owned utility to save the 49-year-old Paradise 3 plant in Kentucky. It so happens that the facility burns coal supplied by Murray Energy Corporation, whose CEO is Robert Murray, is a major Trump donor.