Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

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

Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday. JustTulsa / CC BY 2.0

Much of Eastern Oklahoma, including most of Tulsa, remains an Indian reservation, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday.

Read More Show Less
The Firefly Watch project is among the options for aspiring citizen scientists to join. Mike Lewinski / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Tiffany Means

Summer and fall are great seasons to enjoy the outdoors. But if you're already spending extra time outside because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be out of ideas on how to make fresh-air activities feel special. Here are a few suggestions to keep both adults and children entertained and educated in the months ahead, many of which can be done from the comfort of one's home or backyard.

Read More Show Less
People sit at the bar of a restaurant in Austin, Texas, on June 26, 2020. Texas Governor Greg Abbott ordered bars to be closed by noon on June 26 and for restaurants to be reduced to 50% occupancy. Coronavirus cases in Texas spiked after being one of the first states to begin reopening. SERGIO FLORES / AFP via Getty Images

The coronavirus may linger in the air in crowded indoor spaces, spreading from one person to the next, the World Health Organization acknowledged on Thursday, as The New York Times reported. The announcement came just days after 239 scientists wrote a letter urging the WHO to consider that the novel coronavirus is lingering in indoor spaces and infecting people, as EcoWatch reported.

Read More Show Less
A never-before-documented frog species has been discovered in the Peruvian highlands and named Phrynopus remotum. Germán Chávez

By Angela Nicoletti

The eastern slopes of the Andes Mountains in central Perú are among the most remote places in the world.

Read More Show Less
Left: Lemurs in Madagascar on March 30, 2017. Mathias Appel / Flickr. Right: A North Atlantic right whale mother and calf. National Marine Fisheries Service

A new analysis by scientists at the Swiss-based International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) found that lemurs and the North Atlantic right whale are on the brink of extinction.

Read More Show Less
Nobody knows exactly how much vitamin D a person actually needs. However, vitamin D is becoming increasingly popular. Colin Dunn / Flickr / CC by 2.0

By Julia Vergin

It is undisputed that vitamin D plays a role everywhere in the body and performs important functions. A severe vitamin D deficiency, which can occur at a level of 12 nanograms per milliliter of blood or less, leads to severe and painful bone deformations known as rickets in infants and young children and osteomalacia in adults. Unfortunately, this is where the scientific consensus ends.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Data from a scientist measuring macroalgal communities in rocky shores in the Argentinean Patagonia would be added to the new system. Patricia Miloslavich / University of Delaware

Ocean scientists have been busy creating a global network to understand and measure changes in ocean life. The system will aggregate data from the oceans, climate and human activity to better inform sustainable marine management practices.

EcoWatch sat down with some of the scientists spearheading the collaboration to learn more.

Read More Show Less