U.S. states, cities and firms unite behind Paris accord

Evrard Martin
Juin 3, 2017

The temperature in the White House Press Briefing Room dropped precipitously when EPA honcho Scott Pruitt joined the ranks of Team Trump-ers refusing to say whether the guy who just pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord remains a climate-change denier.

Trump said yesterday (June 1): "Even if the Paris Agreement were implemented in full, with total compliance from all nations, it is estimated it would only produce a 2/10 of one degree - think of that".

Twitter Inc. Chief Executive Jack Dorsey called Trump's decision to pull the US out of the Paris agreement an "incredibly shortsighted move backwards by the federal government".

India has shown tremendous growth in the renewable energy sector in the past one year with solar tariffs plummeting to Rs 2.44 per unit at the latest auction in Rajasthan, which is lower than the cost of electricity from most coal power plants. The U.S. only sources about 13 percent of its electricity from renewable energy.

Trump's announcement that the US would leave the Paris accord immediately sparked worldwide criticism, deepening perceptions of an America in retreat after recent reversals on free trade and foreign aid. "There is no backsliding on the Paris Agreement", European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said.

While Trump blasted the Paris Accord of being unfair to the USA, at the same time, he tried to downplay the global agreement as ineffective in combating the climate change by quoting an MIT finding, though without naming it, "It is estimated it would only produce a two-tenths of one degree Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100".

Peduto didn't stop there, tweeting repeatedly and giving interviews about why the Paris Agreement is good for everyone.

Meg Whitman, chief executive of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, made one last attempt to dissuade the president in a televised interview on CNBC on Thursday before the decision was announced. Unfortunately for him, not only is the Paris Agreement widely popular among the people of the United States-all of them-as well as businesses and economic experts, but he most certainly does not represent the people of Pittsburgh, even though it is technically his job to do so.

Bloomberg said he is also organizing an effort to have a group of mayors, governors, university presidents and businesses added on to the Paris climate deal. Under the Global Warming Solutions Act, which passed the legislature in 2008, the state is committed to reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent from 2001 levels by 2050.

"What you have is a president making a nonbinding withdrawal from a nonbinding agreement", said Kevin Book, an analyst with ClearView Energy Partners.

Even potential USA partners reached out across the Pacific.

Set aside the argument that walking out of the 2015 global deal to mitigate climate change is immoral. "Any long-term investment is going to have to consider the world after Trump".

"We will continue to make sure that the scientific knowledge is out there" in hopes of shaping better policy decisions, Terblanche said.

Leaving might give USA exporters an edge over rivals in nations where industry has to pay to emit carbon dioxide through a carbon tax or emissions trading scheme, economists say.

"It would have to go through a legislation process so it wouldn't happen as an immediate reaction". The decision has no direct impact on major USA regulations on power plants and auto rules now aimed at reducing carbon emissions, although those are now under review by Trump as well.

Chevron spokeswoman Melissa Ritchie told The Telegraph that her company "supports continuing with the Paris Agreement as it offers a first step towards a global framework".

Congressional Republicans applauded the decision, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky saying Trump had "put families and jobs ahead of left-wing ideology and should be commended".

But House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California called it "a stunning abdication of American leadership and a grave threat to our planet's future". "Therefore, we are organizing a group to demonstrate our support for President Trump and his fearless leadership", the invitation reads. A White House official said the couple instead attended service at synagogue for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot.

The U.S.is the world's second-largest emitter of carbon, following only China.

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