Trump Advisers to Debate Paris Climate Agreement

By Steve Holland and Valerie Volcovici

Advisers to President Donald Trump will meet on Tuesday to discuss whether to recommend that he withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, a White House official said on Monday.

The accord, agreed on by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015, aims to limit planetary warming in part by slashing carbon dioxide and other emissions from the burning of fossil fuels. Under the pact, the United States committed to reducing its emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.

Trump has said the United States should “cancel” the deal, but he has been mostly quiet on the issue since he was elected last November.

Environmental groups want Washington to remain in the Paris agreement, even if the new administration weakens U.S. pledges.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. I think David Attenborough summed up Trump’s approach to the planet and its population, in a comment on the parasitic plant Rafflesia, which lives on giant vines and has the largest flower in the world!

    A parasite which has a great unearned wealth of resources drawn from others, does not need to concern itself with efficiency or waste, as long as its host supplier is large enough to survive the drain on its energy!

  2. While Trump moves backwards into obsolescence, others move forwards into the technologies of the future!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39675418

    Britain went a full day without using coal to generate electricity for the first time since the Industrial Revolution, the National Grid says.

    The energy provider said Friday’s lack of coal usage was a “watershed” moment.

  3. It seems the turn around on pollution in China, looks like support from what until recently, looked an unlikely source!

    Meanwhile – the Trump administration flaps around in its usual clueless state!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-39861589

    Chinese President Xi Jinping has vowed to protect the landmark Paris agreement, which aims to curb climate change and fossil fuel emissions.

    He made the promise in a phone call with incoming French President Emmanuel Macron, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement.

    US President Donald Trump is still deciding whether to withdraw from the accord – an election campaign promise.

    A White House meeting to discuss the topic on Tuesday has been postponed, amid reports of divisions among senior Trump advisers.

    It is the second time the meeting has been cancelled. No new date has been given.

    Team Trump divided: Analysis by Anthony Zurcher, BBC News, Washington

    The current disagreement within the White House over whether the US should withdraw from the Paris climate agreement is a prime example of the much-reported palace intrigue within the Trump administration spilling out into a policy debate.

    In one corner you have senior officials like strategist Steve Bannon and Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt, who are on record calling for an exit from the accord.
    Others, like Energy Secretary Rick Perry, have been noncommittal.
    Meanwhile, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said the US should keep a “seat at the table” and presidential adviser/daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner are pro-Paris.

    Donald Trump, while he did once tweet that global warming was a Chinese conspiracy, has largely avoided extended discussions on the subject. While his administration is steadily driving to roll back many Obama-era regulations, environmental issues as a whole seem of little interest to him.

    Any White House meeting to hash out a coherent policy on the Paris agreement is destined to be contentious and with a decidedly uncertain resolution.
    A battle no-one is convinced they will win is one that is ripe for delay – again.

  4. @OP – The accord, agreed on by nearly 200 countries in Paris in 2015, aims to limit planetary warming in part by slashing carbon dioxide and other emissions from the burning of fossil fuels.
    Under the pact, the United States committed to reducing its emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.

    The claim to be discussing the Paris Agreement later sounds like muddling obfuscation and prevarication.
    Anyone who was serious would have got their position sorted and clarified before the meeting!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-40069636

    G7 talks: Trump isolated over Paris climate change deal

    Leaders of the G7 group of rich nations have failed to agree a statement on climate change.

    Six world leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris accord, the world’s first comprehensive deal aimed at reducing greenhouse emissions.

    However, the US has refused to recommit to the agreement, saying it will make a decision next week.

    Mr Trump, who once dismissed global warming as a “hoax”, has previously threatened to pull out of the accord.

    This is Mr Trump’s first G7 summit – during his first foreign trip.

    Why is there no deal on climate change?

    The final communique issued at the G7 summit in Italy said the US “is in the process of reviewing its policies on climate change and on the Paris Agreement and thus is not in a position to join the consensus on these topics”.

    However, the other G7 leaders pledged to “reaffirm their strong commitment to swiftly implement the Paris Agreement”.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the discussion on climate change had been “very unsatisfactory”, adding “we have a situation of six against one”.

    Mr Trump tweeted: “I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!”

    His economic adviser, Gary Cohn, said Mr Trump “came here to learn. He came here to get smart. His views are evolving… exactly as they should be.”

    UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who is also in Sicily for the meeting, told the BBC earlier that the accord would survive regardless of Mr Trump’s position.

  5. Regardless of Trump, major powers are going ahead with their plans!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-40106281

    Chinese and EU leaders are to agree a joint statement on the Paris climate agreement saying it is “an imperative more important than ever”.

    A draft of the document, seen by the BBC, stresses the “highest political commitment” to implement the deal.

    It will be widely seen as a rebuff to the US, as President Trump deliberates on withdrawal from the accord.

    The joint statement will be published on Friday after a summit in Brussels.

    For more than a year, Chinese and EU officials have been working behind the scenes to agree a joint statement on climate change and clean energy.

    The document highlights the dangers posed by rising temperatures, “as a national security issue and multiplying factor of social and political fragility,” while pointing out that the transition to clean energy creates jobs and economic growth.

    “The EU and China consider the Paris agreement as an historic achievement further accelerating the irreversible global low greenhouse gas emission and climate resilient development,” the draft document says.

    “The Paris Agreement is proof that with shared political will and mutual trust, multilateralism can succeed in building fair and effective solutions to the most critical global problems of our time. The EU and China underline their highest political commitment to the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement in all its aspects.”

    Both sides say they will step up action to and “forge ahead with further policies and measures” to implement their national plans on cutting carbon. Significantly, both the EU and China agree that they will outline their long term low carbon strategies by 2020.

    The document outlines other areas of co-operation including on the development and linking of carbon markets. There will also be bilateral work on energy labelling, energy performance standards and the performance standards of buildings.

    “The EU and China are joining forces to forge ahead on the implementation of the Paris agreement and accelerate the global transition to clean energy,” said EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete.

    “No one should be left behind, but the EU and China have decided to move forward.”

  6. Meanwhile those who want to live in the real world are speaking out:-

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-40106278

    Shareholders in Exxon Mobil have backed a motion requiring the company to assess the risks from climate change.

    The plan, proposed by investors including the Church of England, was supported by over 62% of those eligible to vote.

    The vote comes as US media reports that President Trump is poised to pull out of the Paris climate agreement.

    Exxon will now have to consider how global efforts to mitigate climate change will impact their business.

    Long seen as the last bastion of opposition to action on rising temperatures, Exxon Mobil is the world’s largest publicly traded oil company.

    They’ve recently been under investigation by some state authorities in the US.

    They’ve been accused of allegedly concealing information from shareholders on when the company first realised that human emissions of carbon were driving up global temperatures.

    Why does US business back climate deal?

    Previous attempts by activists to force the company to take the impact of climate change into account failed. Last year, the motion gained just over 38% of shareholder support.

    The resolution, filed by the Church Commissioners for England and New York State Comptroller Thomas P DiNapoli, asked Exxon to report on how its business model will be affected by global efforts to limit the average rise in temperatures to below 2C.

    This year, the non-binding motion secured 62.3% of the votes, indicating that some of the bigger investor groups must have sided with climate activists.

    “This is an historic vote – despite strong opposition from the board, the majority of Exxon’s shareholders have sent an unequivocal signal to the company that it must do much more to disclose the impact on its business of measures to combat climate change,” said Edward Mason, head of responsible investment for the Church Commissioners.

    “We are grateful to all of the investors who supported the proposal, and we call on the company to begin urgent engagement with shareholders on how to bring its disclosures in line with those of its peers.”

    While the motion is non-binding observers say there will be increased pressure on the company to report on the impacts of climate change and the restrictions on fossil fuels being considered as part of the Paris climate agreement.

    Exxon Mobil was one of the last hold-outs among major oil companies on the issue of climate change. Earlier in May, Occidental Petroleum shareholders also passed a similar motion in a vote at its annual meeting.

    Other major producers including BP and ConocoPhillips already publish reports on how rising temperatures would impact their businesses.

    “This extraordinary result, on the heels of the majority Occidental vote, indicates growing institutional investor concern,” said Robert Schuwerk, a senior counsel at the Carbon Tracker Initiative.

    “Climate change is now front and centre in investors’ engagement. As Exxon is a standard bearer for the oil and gas industry, smaller companies should take note and respond accordingly.”

  7. Trump has announced ceasing following the requirements of the Paris climate agreement immediately, along with babbling rhetoric about “fairness” and jobs, and spouting Trumponomics about billions of dollars!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-us-canada-40123293

    Trump announces withdrawal
    Posted at 20:37

    Trump: “In order to fulfil my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord but begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accord, or an entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its tax-payers.

    “So we’re getting out. But we will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair.

    “And if we can that’s great. and if we cant that’s fine.”

    There are cheers and a ripple of applause in the Rose Garden as he speaks.

    He had the usual audience of cheering sycophants and ignoramuses.

    Trump says the pact is an example of “Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other companies”.

    Trump says he “cares deeply about the environment”, but “cannot support a deal which punishes the United States”.!

    So on vast range of opportunities in green sustainable energy markets, it looks like he has chosen “America Last”, and stuck his head down the obsolete coal pit!

    20:44

    Trump lists how many jobs he says will be lost by American workers under the Paris agreement.

    “Not what we need,” he says.

    “Coal, and I happen to love the coal miners”, he says.

    20:45

    Trump says the deal benefits China and India to the detriment of the US.

    “The agreement is massive redistribution of United States wealth to other countries,” he says.

    “Our businesses will come to a halt in many cases,” he adds.

    Very unfair’
    Posted at 20:48

    “The bottom line is the Paris accord is very unfair, at the highest level, to the United States.”

    He is also touting new coal mines.

    “And the mines are starting to open up,” he says, asserting that coal mines are planned in West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

    US is ‘rejecting the future’ – Obama

    Mr Trump’s predecessor put out a prepared statement that said:

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

    “I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack. But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got.”

  8. It seems not all American states are prepared to buy into Trumponomics!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-us-canada-40123293

    US states go it alone

    The governors of Washington state, New York and California have announced the formation of the “United States Climate Alliance, a coalition that will convene US states committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and taking aggressive action on climate change”.

    They said they are “committed to achieving the US goal of reducing emissions 26-28% from 2005 levels and meeting or exceeding the targets of the federal Clean Power Plan.”

    California Governor Jerry Brown told the BBC earlier this week he would now work with China on the issue.

    ‘Extraordinary moment of self-destruction’

    Nor did John Kerry hold anything back in his blistering interview with the BBC just a few moments ago!

    America’s former top diplomat said: “It was fake news – the president was not truthful. He’s put America last.”

    Paris negotiator John Kerry: – ‘Grotesque abdication of leadership’

    A string of earlier Trump tweets on climate, clearly identify him as a village idiot know-it-all science illiterate!

    The world cannot wait  –  and neither will we’

    The mayors of 61 cities around the US have joined together to reaffirm their commitment to the Paris agreement.

    In an open letter, the mayors – representing 36 million people from Arkansas to Vermont – promised to “intensify efforts to meet each of our cities’ current climate goals, push for new action to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target, and work together to create a 21st century clean energy economy”.

    It concludes: “The world cannot wait  – and neither will we.”

  9. Trump seems to be indulging in brexiteer style wish-thinking about “renegotiations” by a pariah president with delusions about his personal abilities to “negotiate new great deals”, after tearing up existing ones!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-us-canada-40123293

    Macron: Deal cannot be renegotiated

    Emmanuel Macron has spoken to Donald Trump on the phone to explain to him that the Paris deal is not something he can renegotiate, Reuters reports.

    Macron invited America’s climate change scientists to move to France after Trump threatened to cut funding to climate budgets earlier this year.

    The president of the Marshall Islands, a string of Pacific Ocean volcanic islands that are viewed as vulnerable to rising sea levels, has condemned Trump’s decision.

    The president of the Marshall Islands, a string of Pacific Ocean volcanic islands that are viewed as vulnerable to rising sea levels, has condemned Trump’s decision.

    Elon Musk, the billionaire founder of Tesla and SpaceX, has followed through on his threat to quit the White House councils in which he served as an adviser.

    He had lobbied the Trump administration for months to stay in the Paris accord.

    Elon Musk
    Under Paris deal, China committed to produce as much clean electricity by 2030 as the US does from all sources today

    Al Gore: ‘If Trump won’t lead, American people will’
    Former Vice-President Al Gore, who directed climate-change documentary An Inconvenient Truth, has put out a statement.

    “Civic leaders, mayors, governors, CEOs, investors and the majority of the business community will take up this challenge.

    “We are in the middle of a clean energy revolution that no single person or group can stop.”

  10. The list of those condemning Trump’s incompetence and stupidity, goes on and on!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-us-canada-40123293

    Canada ‘deeply disappointed’

    Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau took to Twitter to share his views:
    His words echoed those of the Canadian environment minister Catherine McKenna, who had earlier told reporters:

    Canada is deeply disappointed at the U.S. position.
    The Paris agreement is a good deal for Canada
    and it's a good deal for the world.
    No one country can stop action on climate change.

    Global condemnation . . . . . Apart from the sycophants and the obvious suspects!

    Coal lobby ‘applauds’ President Trump

    The American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) is delighted Donald Trump has pulled out of the Paris agreement – warning that staying in would have led to higher prices and less reliable energy.

    We support President Trump’s decision
    to withdraw from the Paris agreement.
    The previous administration volunteered
    to meet one of the most stringent goals
    of any country in the world,

  11. @#4 – Mr Trump tweeted:
    “I will make my final decision on the Paris Accord next week!”

    Which translated into English – means:-
    “I don’t want my idiocy presented along side informed views from other G7 leaders, so I will wait until I can announce my ignorant stupidity to a suitably stupid, cheering, uneducated, sycophant, audience!”

    His economic adviser, Gary Cohn, said
    Mr Trump “came here to learn.

    Mmmm . . . . Sounds like Trump-speak from his stooge spokesman!

    He came here to get smart.

    Obviously, as with previous occasions, any resemblance to “intellectual smartness” in Trump, is delusional propagandist hype!

    His views are evolving… exactly as they should be.”

    Yeah! – Dream on!
    The above linked announcements in previous posts clearly show show he is an ideological fossilised fossil fool, who has learned nothing of any value despite expert advice from all over the world!

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