These are the USA tech leaders promising to keep the Paris Agreement

Evrard Martin
Juin 3, 2017

In 2009, Donald Trump was one of many business leaders who heralded the U.N. Climate Conference in Copenhagen, signing onto a full-page ad that ran in the New York Times.

The UN environment chief said there is an incredible momentum on climate change from individual states, cities, private sector and citizens and a single political decision - from the U.S. - will not derail the tremendous effort made by people worldwide to save the planet.

China may be poised to fill the breach.

In an earlier opinion I hailed the symbolic and global importance of the Paris Climate Accord which was brought about by the strategic leadership shown by the United States and China agreeing to work together on a problem that challenges the future of humanity. Other energy sources like natural gas, wind, and solar are cheaper and cleaner. That commitment has much of the world now looking to Beijing, which wants to assert itself on the global stage.

But Lib Dem leader Tim Farron said the prime minister should use whatever influence she has over the United States president to prompt him to reverse his decision.

While President Trump's decision had been expected, it does confirm that world leadership on efforts to limit global climate change will now shift to Asia, and China in particular.

A defense against believing humans are responsible for climate change is that scientific studies are not 100% certain - a stance frequently used by members of the Trump administration that muddles the scientific consensus that man-made emissions are driving global warming. "The cost, however, for withdrawal would be considerable - great harm to USA diplomacy, trade and the global environment". However, at America's insistence, countries' carbon-cutting pledges in support of the goal, are not. Investing in a Clean Energy Economy will drive a state-of-the-art technologies that will spur economic growth. "So, think of that", said Trump.

Still, Bush made the broad and public case for USA leadership in worldwide cooperation, even as his policies in Iraq and Afghanistan frayed some American alliances.

Germany's environment minister underscored that on Friday, saying "there will be no new deal with the United States" on climate change. China wouldn't have been privy to the deal. Standing in the heart of Europe, Trump publicly lectured NATO partners about their military commitments and offered no explicit endorsement for the collective defense agreement at the core of trans-Atlantic security for decades.

"Climate action is not a burden, but an unprecedented opportunity".

The investment will create over 13 million jobs in the sector, the National Energy Administration said on January 5 in a document that lays out its plan to develop the nation's energy sector during the five-year 2016 to 2020 period.

China's willingness is largely driven by domestic imperatives: growing popular dismay about air pollution, deteriorating water quality, and soil contamination from runaway industrialization.

China already accounts for more than one-third of global wind energy capacity.

Obama's effort to engage China's Xi on climate issues helped spur the change.

While Trump said the United States would be willing to rejoin the accord if it could obtain more favourable terms, the three European leaders said the agreement cannot be renegotiated, "since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economics". The Paris climate agreement was negotiated in 2015 and has since been signed by 195 countries.

The Chinese premier also highlighted the importance of upholding rules.

"The United States will come to rue this day".

North Korea has ratified the agreement and the world is speaking out.

"The world can not wait - and neither will we". And with economic cooperation comes greater influence.

Bob Ward is policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

China, the world's biggest carbon dioxide emitter, meanwhile, vowed to stand by the Paris Agreement, with Beijing and the European Union agreeing to back the climate deal through a joint statement.

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