Less than six months ago, representatives from 195 countries committed to reducing carbon emissions. The product of the COP21 climate conference, held in France, marked the first legally binding international agreement on climate change in over 20 years, a monumental step forward at a crucial time, as the Earth nears a devastating two-degree warming point. Now, one of the architects of the Paris climate agreement warns that the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States could undo all that hard work.
Laurent Fabius was the French foreign minister at the time of the climate conference hosted outside Paris. Fabius warns that if the next United States president is a climate denier, it could derail the goals of the agreement, which was signed formally at the UN headquarters in New York City on Earth Day last month. In a speech in London, Fabius told the crowd, “Think about the impact of the coming US presidential elections. If a climate change denier was to be elected, it would threaten dramatically global action against climate disruption.”
Fabius didn’t name Trump in his address, but it’s clear that the billionaire businessman was the subject of his concern. Following this week’s primary in Indiana and the withdrawal of competitor Ted Cruz, Trump is now the leading Republican candidate in the presidential race. Although the agreement is a done deal, its implementation in the U.S. depends on support from the commander in chief. President Barack Obama aims to ensure the agreement is operational prior to his successor’s swearing in, but even that may not guarantee that the next resident of the White House will hold true to the ambitious goals of the deal, which call for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel reliance, and increases in renewable energy infrastructure.
Throughout his campaign, Trump has not been shy about his position on human-made climate change. Despite mounting scientific evidence amassed over recent decades, he refuses to accept reality. Beyond simply denying the science, Trump’s feelings on climate change have ranged from calling it a “hoax” created by the Chinese to arguing that the existence of ice storms disprove global warming. It’s not difficult to imagine that Trump would interfere with initiatives inspired by the concept that human action is destroying the planet.
Via The Guardian