Leaving climate accord puts USA behind -- Ned Grossnickle


Second, the accord was non-binding, meaning the US doesn't have to withdraw to avoid meeting its obligations-a pledge to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 and commit up to $3 billion in aid for poorer countries by 2020.

Hitting back at President Donald Trump's decision to leave the Paris Climate Accord, Michigan representatives have produced a resolution asking Gov. Rick Snyder to join a multi-state climate alliance this week.

More than 10 other states have signed similar pledges to reduce fossil-fuel emissions despite President Trump's decision for the United States to pull out of the global agreement 195 other countries have signed to combat climate change. By leaving a vacant seat at the table, the White House has further isolated the US from the rest of the worldwide community, leaving other nations, namely China, poised to fill the void.

Former New York Mayor and U.N. Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael Bloomberg pledged $15 million to make up for the USA contribution to the climate agreement.

Fortunately, the reaction to Trump's announcement has been encouraging.

Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, where the landmark global climate agreement was agreed in December 2015, said the decision by Donald Trump to pull the USA out of the deal was 'a mistake that would have dramatic consequences'. Created to uphold the treaty, the group reiterated its pledge to continue "taking aggressive action on climate change".

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At a time when there is a "Spectacular" drop in renewable energy costs...

Recently, Cllr David Smith, portfolio holder for planning and environment, said he was "extremely disappointed" Mr Trump had made a decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, adding the council would "continue with their commitment to reduce carbon emissions in this town".

Voicing her frustration with the current state of affairs, Katharine Hayhoe, director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University, said, "The biggest loser from the decision could be the United States itself. Why?"

There is no legal penalty if a country misses its climate goals in the agreement, Hodges said, but there is a sense of accountability for each country.

Although the U.S.is out of the accord, Canada remains signed on.

"After China, the U.S.is the world's second-largest greenhouse gas polluter - and China is leading the renewable energy revolution". Not only are rural communities likely to suffer some of the worst consequences of climate change, but we will miss out on opportunities to shape the direction of global policy and markets.