Nations pledge to honor Paris Climate accords despite possible US exit

World Today

Nations pledge to honor Paris Climate accords despite possible US exit

If the Trump administration decides to pull out of the Paris Climate agreement, it will have global repercussions.

The U.S. is the second biggest emitter of greenhouse gases and without Washington’s commitment, the world will likely miss already tough targets on curbing emissions.

CGTN’s Nathan King reports.

On April 2016, China’s Chief climate negotiator Zhang Gaoli and then U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry essentially sealed the deal.

The world’s two biggest emitters signing the Paris climate agreement essentially meant it would come into force – it did in November 2016.

But that same month Donald Trump was elected President of the United States.

He campaigned on bringing back coal jobs and rolling back regulations on emissions.

If he does decide to withdraw from Paris, China and the European Union are vowing to stick with the agreement.

“I am against us behaving like the Americans’ vassals. If in the next few hours or days the US President leaves the Paris agreement, then it is Europe’s duty to say: it’s not like that. It’s not just about the future of people in Europe, it is above all about the future of people in other places,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said.

Any increase in U.S. emissions will mean the world will be far less likely to keep to the goal of limiting global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius.

The US decision will affect everyone on the planet.

At the G-7 summit in Italy last week, European leaders expressed frustration at the emerging U.S. position.

And even if the U.S. sticks to the deal, it is unlikely it will stick to the ambitious targets signed onto less than two years ago.

That could encourage other nations not to stick to their targets and the whole deal could unravel.

Although President Trump’s hardcore supporters will be behind any pull out from the Paris agreement, polls show the majority of U.S. voters are for it as are many global companies eager to embrace the technology of tomorrow.

Others said a pullout from Paris could erode U.S. global influence.

“We have a very strong economic case, we have strong support of our population and we would carry on. And I think that despite this possible drawback of the U.S. administration, that the economic factors in the U.S. would prevail in the end. But Europe is ready for the leadership and we will definitely provide it,” Maros Sefcovic, the EU Commissioner in Charge of Energy Union said.

If President Trump does decide to withdraw from the agreement it will be the second major deal he will have abandoned since taking office.

The first was the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, but that deal was a regional one, this could have global consequences.

Tao Zhang discusses the Paris Climate Accord and a potenital US withdrawal

To discuss the possibilities of the U.S. leaving the Paris Climate accord, CGTN’s Elaine Reyes spoke with Tao Zhang, managing director of the green innovation and investment firm, Dao Ventures.