News Archive

Change to fluorescent bulbs
If every house in the UK changed all of the light bulbs in their house, that would be equivalent to taking one million cars off the road.

Keep it in the ground: What president Trump means for climate change

Donald Trump’s win could be catastrophic for the world’s climate, as well as international diplomacy, as American leadership is transformed

Donald Trump holds a sign supporting coal during a rally at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Photograph: Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump holds a sign supporting coal during a rally at Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Photograph: Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images

Published on The Guardian website on the 11th November 2016

 

This November is likely to have profound implications for climate change, but not in the way that was anticipated just a week ago. The Paris climate deal came into force on the 4th November but Tuesday’s election of Donald Trump as US president casts an ominous shadow over the agreement and the chances of avoiding dangerous global warming.

Trump is a highly erratic figure, so predicting his actions can be problematic. But we do know that he wants to withdraw the US from the Paris accord, which aims to keep the global temperature increase below a 2C threshold, that he believes climate change to be a “hoax” and that Barack Obama’s warning that global warming is a threat on a par with terrorism was “one of the dumbest statements I’ve ever heard in politics.”

Obama’s climate legacy, and the tools he used to force down emissions, are set to be torn apart by Trump once he enters the White House. Contentious oil pipelines such as Keystone and Dakota Access will likely be approved. Clean energy funding will be slashed. The world’s second largest greenhouse gas emitter will look to prop up coal, rather than renewables, to power its future. Read Oliver’s report today for the full story.

This could prove catastrophic for the world’s climate, as well as international diplomacy, as American leadership is transformed into an excuse to slack off in cutting emissions. Already, the 2C threshold looks in severe peril. The 8th November could be the day when tens of millions of people were condemned to an unlivable environment. A Trump u-turn on this matter, at least, would be welcomed by those most at risk.

Oliver Milman, US environment correspondent

Comments are closed.