Fearing Trump, Global Leaders Hustle on Paris Climate Deal

Paris deal could be locked in by the end of the year
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2016 5:02 AM CDT
Updated Sep 21, 2016 6:08 AM CDT
Fear of Trump Is Speeding Up Climate Agreement
Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally, Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016, in Kenansville, NC.   (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Donald Trump has described climate change as a hoax and a fraud—but he has inadvertently done more than most to bring about worldwide agreement on the issue. The New York Times reports that fear of a Trump presidency has helped United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon persuade more countries to ratify the Paris climate pact, which is now expected to enter legal force by the end of this year. Trump has vowed to pull the US out of the pact—but President Obama has already ratified the deal, and the withdrawal process takes four years. A round-up of coverage:

  • The AP reports that 30 more countries are expected to join the Paris deal this week, bringing it much closer to the target of 55 countries representing at least 55% of emissions. When that target is hit, the deal will officially come into force.

  • Some 375 scientists from the National Academy of Sciences and foreign affiliates—including Stephen Hawking and almost 30 other Nobel Prize winners—signed an open letter Tuesday criticizing Trump's pledge to pull the US out of the deal, reports Reuters. The move "would send a clear signal to the rest of the world: 'The United States does not care about the global problem of human-caused climate change,'" they wrote.
  • Climate Central reports that the deal won't be completely "Trump-proof" even if it comes into effect soon. Even if withdrawal takes years, he will be able to undermine it by abandoning plans to reduce pollution. Trump has already said he plans to get rid of the EPA.
  • The Guardian reports that climate change hasn't been as big an election issue as some had expected: Since winning the endorsement of Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton is mentioning the issue a lot less, with roughly one mention per five speeches, compared to one in two before the endorsement.
(More climate change stories.)

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