Quantcast

It's Official: Trump Sends Formal Notice to UN to Pull America Out of Paris Agreement

Popular

By Andy Rowell

Two months after Donald Trump announced that he intended to pull America out of the Paris agreement, last Friday the State Department submitted the formal notification to the UN to that effect.

We know Trump is walking the wrong way into the history books on this. For all his policy failures and the continuing chaos around the West Wing and the White House, his total disregard for the future of this planet and for future generations is beyond comprehension to anyone but his fossil fuel cronies.


There is no doubt that the decision by the U.S. to pull out of the Paris agreement is what Ed Crooks, the energy correspondent in the Financial Times, called "at one level momentous."

It is staggering to say the least that, as Crooks noted, "The world's largest economy and second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases is quitting a deal that the governments of leading European countries have described as 'a vital instrument for our planet.'"

However, here comes the important part: "In terms of the consequences for the global energy industry, however, its impact has so far been negligible."

He added, "The most important reason for that is that moves towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions are going with the grain of energy markets, regardless of political decisions."

As I have written before, Trump may have wanted the world to follow in ripping up the Paris agreement, in a collected suicide for future generations, but the opposite has happened.

Indeed, former Vice President Al Gore said on television Friday, "When he made his speech pulling out of Paris, I really was concerned that some other countries might use that as an excuse to pull out themselves. But the very next day, the entire rest of the world redoubled their commitment to the Paris agreement, as if to say, 'We'll show you, Mr. Trump.'"

Gore is not alone in thinking this. As one solar bog noted Monday, "A number of political figures and businesses around the U.S. have committed to meeting the Paris accord greenhouse gas targets, despite the withdrawal of the Trump administration from the agreement."

It is not just politicians but the market, too. The market has moved on without Trump. Renewables are overtaking fossil fuels in electricity generation. As I noted on Friday, according to a new analysis of data, last year solar was the "star performer" in terms of new electricity generation, as renewables once again outstripped fossil fuels.

Not only are renewables rapidly changing the energy market, but the need to act over climate is changing the oil market. Oil companies are now suddenly worried about "stranded assets," the reserves of oil and gas that we can no longer afford to burn.

Andrew Grant from Carbon Tracker Initiative, which has worked with Oil Change International and others to put forward the concept, told the Financial Times that suddenly oil companies, after years of resistance, are listening. They are now "pushing at an open door."

Just as fossil fuel assets are becoming stranded, so too Trump has become a stranded politician. The New York Times editorial board summed it up nicely last month in a strong editorial, when they said Trump is a "climate change loner." And after Friday's formal withdrawal he has even fewer friends, even less respect and even less relevance.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Micromobility is the future of transportation in cities, but cities and investors need to plan ahead to avoid challenges. Jonny Kennaugh / Unsplash

By Carlo Ratti, Ida Auken

On the window of a bike shop in Copenhagen, a sign reads: Your next car is a bike.

Read More Show Less
An American flag waves in the wind at the Phillip Burton Federal Building in San Francisco, California on May 17 where a trial against Monsanto took place. Alva and Alberta Pilliod, were awarded more than $2 billion in damages in their lawsuit against Monsanto, though the judge in the case lowered the damage award to $87 million. JOSH EDELSON / AFP / Getty Images

By Carey Gillam

For the last five years, Chris Stevick has helped his wife Elaine in her battle against a vicious type of cancer that the couple believes was caused by Elaine's repeated use of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide around a California property the couple owned. Now the roles are reversed as Elaine must help Chris face his own cancer.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Butterfly habitats have fallen 77 percent in the last 50 years. Pixabay / Pexels

The last 50 years have been brutal for wildlife. Animals have lost their habitats and seen their numbers plummet. Now a new report from a British conservation group warns that habitat destruction and increased pesticide use has on a trajectory for an "insect apocalypse," which will have dire consequences for humans and all life on Earth, as The Guardian reported.

Read More Show Less
Six of the nineteen wind turbines which were installed on Frodsham Marsh, near the coal-powered Fiddler's Ferry power station, in Helsby, England on Feb. 7, 2017.

Sales of electric cars are surging and the world is generating more and more power from renewable sources, but it is not enough to cut greenhouse gas emissions and to stop the global climate crisis, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Read More Show Less
"Globally, we're starting to see examples of retailers moving away from plastics and throwaway packaging, but not at the urgency and scale needed to address this crisis." Greenpeace

By Jake Johnson

A Greenpeace report released Tuesday uses a hypothetical "Smart Supermarket" that has done away with environmentally damaging single-use plastics to outline a possible future in which the world's oceans and communities are free of bags, bottles, packaging and other harmful plastic pollutants.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Children are forced to wear masks due to the toxic smoke from peat land fires in Indonesia. Aulia Erlangga / CIFOR

By Irene Banos Ruiz

Pediatricians in New Delhi, India, say children's lungs are no longer pink, but black.

Our warming planet is already impacting the health of the world's children and will shape the future of an entire generation if we fail to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius (35.6°F), the 2019 Lancet Countdown Report on health and climate change shows.

Read More Show Less
Private homes surround a 20 inch gas liquids pipeline which is part of the Mariner East II project on Oct. 5, 2017 in Marchwood, Penn. Robert Nickelsberg / Getty Images

The FBI is looking into how the state of Pennsylvania granted permits for a controversial natural gas pipeline as part of a corruption investigation, the AP reports.

Read More Show Less
Three cows who were washed off their North Carolina island by Hurricane Dorian have been found alive after swimming at least two miles. Carolina Wild Ones / Facebook

Three cows who were washed off their North Carolina island by Hurricane Dorian have been found alive after swimming at least two miles, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Read More Show Less