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The “Trump Effect” Threatens The Future Of The Paris Climate Agreement



The UN’s latest climate summit in Poland hopes to spread acceptance of the Paris climate agreement; David Roberts believes this is made more difficult by President Trump’s pledge to withdraw from the agreement. Citing a report, Roberts highlighted Trump’s damage: regulatory rollbacks that have created uncertainty and chaos, his actions have offered other countries cover for their anti-Paris agreement sentiments, and he’s eroded at the core tenet of the deal: trust.


  • “If Trump is reelected…millions will suffer as a result.”
  • Should the US commit to limiting climate change to 2 degrees?


Sunday marked the start of COP24, the latest round of climate negotiations on the part of the United Nations. Oddly enough, the meeting takes place in Katowice, a small town in Poland built on coal mining. Coal still provides 80 percent of Poland’s power and appears to be the visual theme of the event.

This is the most significant meeting of the parties to the Paris climate agreement since that accord was hammered out in 2015. Though the agreement doesn’t technically go into effect until 2020, the Katowice meetings are meant to encourage early ambition and serve as an informal “stocktake,” a check-in with how countries are doing relative to their upcoming pledges.

As you may have heard, a few significant things have happened in the US since 2015. Among them, Donald Trump was elected president and pledged to withdraw from the Paris agreement. The US cannot formally withdraw until November 5, 2020, just days after the next presidential election, so it’s still a somewhat theoretical threat. Still, it has been enough to affect the course of events.

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