By Megan Darby
Few dare whisper the thought, but the climate talks in Marrakech lie under a pall of doubt as the US election enters its final hours.
“Whatever the citizens decide always brings the right results. This is democracy. It is the best system in the world.”
India’s environment minister Anil Madhav Dave insists that the outcome of Tuesday’s US election will not affect COP22 climate talks in Marrakech.
Dave answers the question after opening the Indian pavilion at the tent village of Bab Ighli with a speech in Hindi, that an observer says extolled Mahatma Gandhi’s approach to sustainable living.
It is hard to imagine a less Gandhi-like figure than Donald Trump, the Republican candidate for US president: a billionaire who brags of his entitlement to assault women and promises to marginalise ethnic and religious minorities. Oh, and says he would “cancel” the Paris Agreement.
Democrat Hillary Clinton, while no hunger striker, can be expected to honour US commitments to the international climate deal.
Still, as Dave says, it is America’s choice.
Some politicians have been a little less coy. France’s Segolene Royal admits her preference to see a woman in the White House. China’s Xie Zhenhua says a wise leader should “conform to global trends”.
But there is no point complaining about what you can’t change, and most delegates hold their tongues or dismiss the Trump threat – on the record, anyway.
At the daily Climate Action Network press conference, the moderator bats back a question on the election. Wait 24 hours and we’ll all have statements, she says. The friendly press officers for the US delegation say there will be no media briefings in the first week of the talks.
- Marrakech mail: Trump wins the White House November 9, 2016