Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

EARTH TALK ; Trump's Potential Environmental Impact

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

EARTH TALK ; Trump's Potential Environmental Impact

Article excerpt

Dear EarthTalk: Why does Donald Trump think we should renegotiate the Paris climate agreement? And will he be able to pull it off if he does get elected President? - Betsy Edgewater, Dayton, Ohio

In a May 2016 interview with Reuters, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump dropped a bombshell on environmentalists: If elected, he would try to renegotiate the landmark Paris COP21 climate accord agreed to by 177 nations (including the U.S.) in December 2015. Calling the agreement "one- sided and "bad for the United States, Trump said he's "not a big fan because other countries don't adhere to it, and China doesn't adhere to it, and China's spewing into the atmosphere. He added that if he takes the Oval Office, he would work to re-negotiate the emissions cuts agreed to by the U.S. at a minimum. "And at maximum, I may do something else.

Environmentalists immediately jumped on Trump, long a climate naysayer. "This is another example of Trump's dangerous lack of judgment and the very real impacts it could have for all of us, said Gene Karpinski, president of the non-profit League of Conservation Voters. Billionaire environmental financier and NextGen Climate founder Tom Steyer concurred and called Trump's denunciation of the Paris accord "short-sighted. He worries that a Trump presidency would be "terribly costly for the U.S. and would jeopardize the nation's ability to lead the world out of its climate crisis. "We cannot go backwards on this important step towards a clean energy economy that benefits all our families, said Steyer.

But try as he might, a President Trump would have a tough time backing out of U.S. commitments under the Paris accord. For starters, a clause in COP21 forces any signatory nations to wait at least four years before withdrawing, meaning Trump couldn't even disentangle the U. …

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