Tuesday 17 October 2017

Trump's retrograde climate policy hands China reins in driving a low-carbon future

An aerial view of the Larsen C ice rift in Antarctic, where an expanse of ice roughly the size of
Co Galway is close to breaking off from the warming Antarctic ice shelf to form one of the
world’s largest-ever icebergs, scientists with Project Midas, a Swansea Universtiy Antarctic
research group, said yesterday. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
An aerial view of the Larsen C ice rift in Antarctic, where an expanse of ice roughly the size of Co Galway is close to breaking off from the warming Antarctic ice shelf to form one of the world’s largest-ever icebergs, scientists with Project Midas, a Swansea Universtiy Antarctic research group, said yesterday. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Dr Cara Augustenborg

In November 2016, when Donald Trump was elected as president of the United States, representatives from more than 200 countries were meeting in Marrakesh to discuss the United Nations Climate Agreement.

I was at that 23rd UN Conference of Parties when Mr Trump's victory was announced and I expected everyone to down tools on hearing the news. With the only world leader who denies climate change in charge of the second-largest greenhouse gas-emitting country, it seemed we were doomed to a future of climate chaos.

In fact, Mr Trump's presidential victory had the opposite effect on the UN climate negotiations. The page was already turned on fossil fuels, and countries had no intention of reversing their trajectory towards clean, renewable energy futures. The world was ready to move forward without United States' leadership on climate action.

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