Climate Change: President Trump would renegotiate COP21 climate deal

Just yesterday I was writing up the news that NASA’s data shows that – for the seventh consecutive month – the Earth’s temperature has got hotter. It turns out the fuzzy feeling we got from the historic COP21 Paris agreement wasn’t just the figurative warm glow of a job well done, but the literal warm glow of a planet that is now around 1.1˚C warmer than it was last century.

With the news that our plan to keep temperature rises below 1.5˚C looks more and more like a pipe dream, you’d have thought our leaders would be more committed than ever, and endeavour to double down on our previously half-hearted efforts to save the planet.

Surprise! Maverick Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has other ideas.donald_trump_cop21

“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 former reality TV presenter and potential leader of the free world (…) told Reuters.

Trump argued that the deal was unfairly balanced against the United States, and that he doubted China would adhere to the agreement. There’s at least some consistency here, given he’s previously argued that global warming was “created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.”

Sorry, I had to interrupt writing this post to slam my head into the desk. Where was I?

Ah, yes. The Paris Climate deal. Suffice to say that given how incredibly hard it was to reach an agreement between 193 countries in the first place, the world’s second biggest polluter backing out due to a perceived ‘unfairness’ would see the whole thing crumble. Read Duncan’s thorough write-up of the event and you’ll see how many times the whole thing nearly fell apart without the help of Trump’s unique approach to diplomacy.

That, of course, could be his intent. Although Trump didn’t state publicly that he wanted to kill the deal altogether – popular opinion in the US has swung behind a need to tackle climate change – to all intents and purposes, that’s what renegotiation would do. And that might be convenient for a man who has previously said this kind of thing:

One step forward, two steps back. Oh, and two degrees warmer.

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Images: Gage Skidmore and Gage Skidmore used under Creative Commons

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