His anti-regulatory stances, support of unfettered fossil fuel production, and his threat to pull the U.S. out of the Paris agreement, send ripple effects worldwide.
By Marianne Lavelle, InsideClimate News
Nov 9, 2016
Donald Trump’s astonishing victory has turned the world of climate action upside down, setting back U.S. environmental policy and threatening the international drive to cut carbon pollution and slow global warming.
The stunning upset by Trump, who has routinely suggested that climate change is a hoax, threatens to unravel President Obama’s climate action agenda, built on executive orders and regulations, including the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon clampdown at power plants. Trump has vowed to “cancel” the Paris climate agreement, but could cripple it by merely retreating from the U.S. commitment. As the world’s second-biggest emitter of carbon dioxide pollution, the U.S. could render the global treaty meaningless, at a time when scientists are urging nations to quickly raise their ambition, or risk an escalating climate crisis.
Leading up to the election, the gulf between Trump and Hillary Clinton on climate and energy was wide and the stakes couldn’t have been higher. But the campaign was not fought on those issues. And despite environmental groups pouring an enormous amount of money and people power into the race, they were unable to break through with the message that climate action is urgent.
The result sent shockwaves through the global climate talks now happening in Morocco, known as COP 22, that aim to turn the Paris agreement’s promises into action. Many there expressed deep concern and disappointment.
“We are all stunned at the COP,” said Saleemul Haq, a climate expert at the International Institute for Environment and Development. “No one had anticipated this result, and hence there was no plan B. We will have to think about what happens next.”