February 2, 2023

Trump withdraws from Paris climate agreement

Trump’s feigned ignorance on climate change does not impress even the gullible, accelerates deliberate harm to each and every one, and inflicts political and economic self-harm on the USA.

American voices on Trump’s decision

Barack Obama:

A small handful of nations that reject the future

The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created.

Al Gore:

Reckless and indefensible.

Bernie Sanders:

An abdication of American leadership and an international disgrace.

It is absurd and dangerous for the president of the most powerful nation on earth to reject science. Every public policy that is developed has to be based on science and on facts, and not on ‘alternate facts’. (…) We have a president who lies all the time.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU):

Pulling out of the Paris Agreement would be a massive step back for racial justice, and an assault on communities of color across the U.S.

Drought, hurricanes and flooding will impact every American— but climate change doesn’t affect us all equally.

Black and brown people are more likely to live near coal plants, and have higher asthma rates than white Americans do.

Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club:

Donald Trump has made a historic mistake which our grandchildren will look back on with stunned dismay at how a world leader could be so divorced from reality and morality.

Fareed Zakaria, CNN:

[T]his will be the day that the United States resigned as the leader of the free world.

Elon Musk:

Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.

Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs:

Today’s decision is a setback for the environment and for the U.S.’s leadership position in the world. #ParisAgreement

International voices on Trump’s decision

António Guterres, UN secretary general:

It is absolutely essential that the world implements the Paris agreement.

If one country decides to leave a void, I can guarantee someone else will occupy it.

United Nations, on Twitter

Climate change is undeniable. Climate change is unstoppable. Climate solutions provide opportunities that are unmatchable.

Chancellor Angela Merkel, president Emmanuel Macron and prime minister Paolo Gentiloni.

 We deem the momentum generated in Paris in December 2015 irreversible and we firmly believe that the Paris Agreement cannot be renegotiated, since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economies.

Emmanuel Macron, President of France:

Germany and France will grasp at new initiatives in order to ensure the climate agreement is a success.

(President Trump) committed an error for the interests of his country, his people and a mistake for the future of our planet.

I tell you firmly tonight: We will not renegotiate a less ambitious accord. There is no way. Don’t be mistaken on climate; there is no plan B because there is no planet B.

Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and a former UN Special Envoy on Climate Change, reflects on the retreat of the USA from multilateralism, political consistency and predictability:

The US reneging on its commitment to the Paris Agreement renders it a rogue state on the international stage.

Gro Harlem Brundtland, a former UN Special Envoy on Climate Change, said it weakened

Already frayed bonds of trust between developed and developing countries.

Prof John Schellnhuber, a climate scientist and former adviser to the EU, Angela Merkel and the pope:

It will not substantially hamper global climate progress but it will hurt the American economy and society alike,” he said. “China and Europe have become world leaders on the path towards green development already and will strengthen their position if the US slips back. The Washington people around Trump fail to recognise that the climate wars are over, while the race for sustainable prosperity is on.

David Suzuki, Canadian academic, science broadcaster and environmental activist:

A global shift to renewable energy is on. There’s no denying it or turning it around. It’s good for business. This is not fake news. It’s real life. And it’s happening with or without you.

You claim you know a good deal when you see one. Well, you just passed on one of the best our planet has ever seen.

Republicans against Paris climate agreement:

Donald Trump:

We don’t want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore, and they won’t be.

Nobogy is laughing when there are natural disasters and floods in the USA.

America First.

How is it possible that Americans disagree with Trump while apparently only Trump puts America First? It is called democracy.

Implying that every other person, politician or party does not act in the interest of their country, is fundamentally antidemocratic.

Paul Ryan:

The Paris climate agreement was simply a raw deal for America.

It would have driven up the cost of energy, hitting middle-class and low-income Americans the hardest. In order to unleash the power of the American economy, our government must encourage production of American energy.

A very narrow-minded view on what is at stake on the political and environmental level with huge potential impact of livelihoods, migration and national security.

Newt Gingrich:

Every foreign leader attacking Pres Trump over leaving Paris Accord – further proof the deal was one sided and better for foreigners than US.

What logic is this?

Rick Santorum:

Sad to be criticized by the left for something as obvious as solar (clouds & darkness) and wind (calm winds) are not reliable or consistent.

No comment.

Contradictions and inconsistencies in Trump’s speech

Michael Safi, South Asia correspondent from The Guardian, on India:

India’s carbon allowance under the Paris agreement is relatively generous in recognition of the more than 300m Indians still without access to electricity. The country will also need to develop its economy in a carbon-constrained environment, unlike in the west.

But the world’s third-largest carbon pollution emitter is nonetheless on course to exceed the renewable energy targets it set in Paris in 2015 by nearly 50% – and three years ahead of schedule.

Last month saw the wholesale price of wind and solar energy reach record lows in the country, further undercutting the price of coal and spurring international investment in Indian renewables.

Also in May, around 13.7GW of coal projects were cancelled. India’s national energy agency has predicted no new coal plants, other than those already in the pipeline, may be required until at least 2027.

Surveying the toll of fossil-fuelled economic development on its rivers, farmland and air, India has recognised that transitioning to a low-carbon economy is firmly in national interests, as well as those of the planet.

James Astill, The Economist:

Trump says Paris imposes no obligation on world’s biggest polluters. He cites India. whose per cap emissions are a tenth of America’s.