Trump: U.S. out of climate deal



Trump’s pullout of the Paris climate deal leaves U.S. climate action to cities, states, investors — and citizens.

The Paris climate agreement lives on, even after President Trump’s decision to pull out of the global effort. Indeed, Trump’s abdication of U.S. leadership could galvanize a broad movement to accelerate, not slow, the transition to a low-carbon economy and keep temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius.

Already: Elon is out. California and New York are in. China and Europe are moving on together. More reactions (continually updated with latest news):

WeAreStillIn.com — An open letter to the Paris Agreement from U.S. state, local and business leaders representing 120 Million Americans and $6.2 trillion of the U.S. economy

The Trump administration’s announcement undermines a key pillar in the fight against climate change and damages the world’s ability to avoid the most dangerous and costly effects of climate change. Importantly, it is also out of step with what is happening in the United States.

In the U.S., it is local and state governments, along with businesses, that are primarily responsible for the dramatic decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in recent years. Actions by each group will multiply and accelerate in the years ahead, no matter what policies Washington may adopt.

Impact investors respond to Trump’s climate decision

As policy moves backward, says Zevin Asset Management’s Pat Tomaino, “Pressing companies to cut their own emissions, deploy renewable energy, and lobby responsibly become even more important.”

Calling Trump’s decision a return to “Dark Age thinking,” Michael Whelchel and Shawn Lesser of Big Path Capital write, “We will stay to this path, for it is the smartest business decision to make. Let us all redouble our efforts, add more sails, stock more provisions and deploy capital in the New World that we’ve seen with our own eyes but others may not yet have.”

Tribe Impact Capital, an impact wealth manager, issued a statement saying the tools are in hand to drive the Paris agreement. “When we harness our collective power as consumers through spending, as citizens through voting, as investors through mission, and as employees through influence, then we can and will deliver the Paris Accord.”

Social Impact Capital managing partner, Sarah Cone, tweeted, “Trump’s decision was monumentally idiotic, but as a clean energy investor, I tell you that it will mean very little.” Responded Caprock’s Matthew Weatherley-White, “Markets trump policy, and geopolitics trump politics.”

Mike Bloomberg pledges $15 million to fill gap in funding U.N.’s Climate Secretariat stands to lose from Washington…Bloomberg.org

“Americans are not walking away from the Paris Climate Agreement,” said Bloomberg. “Just the opposite — we are forging ahead. Mayors, governors, and business leaders from both political parties are signing onto a statement of support that we will submit to the UN — and together, we will reach the emission reduction goals the U.S. made in Paris in 2015.

New “United States Climate Alliance” of more than 100 businesses, three dozen mayors, 80 university presidents and three governors in talks with UN on plan to meet Paris climate goals…Wall Street Journal

The group is negotiating with the U.N. to have its own National Determined Contribution or “NDC” — the individually agreed-upon emissions reduction for each participating nation under the 2015 Paris accord — accepted alongside those of the other countries, the person said.

80+ US #ClimateMayors pledge support to Paris climate goals…Medium.com

We will continue to lead. We are increasing investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. We will buy and create more demand for electric cars and trucks. We will increase our efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, create a clean energy economy, and stand for environmental justice. And if the President wants to break the promises made to our allies enshrined in the historic Paris Agreement, we’ll build and strengthen relationships around the world to protect the planet from devastating climate risks.

Former President Obama says “even in the absence of American leadership”, he’s confident “states, cities, and businesses” will lead:

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NYC Mayor De Blasio vows to uphold Paris climate agreement… The Hill

“The Paris Accord was the biggest step forward we’ve taken in many years. It’s unconscionable for the president to step away from it,” de Blasio added. “But we’ll take matters into our own hands.”

California Governor seeks China as an ally… HuffPost

Brown will depart Friday for a week-long visit to China, where he will meet with Chinese leaders and members of the global Under2 Coalition, an ad hoc alliance of countries, states and municipalities committed to taking action to keep global temperature rises within two degrees of pre-industrial averages.

EU and China strengthen climate ties to counter US retreat [paywall]… Financial Times

Documents seen by the Financial Times show that Beijing and Brussels have agreed to measures to accelerate what they call the “irreversible” shift away from fossil fuels and the “historic achievement” of the Paris climate accord.

Tesla founder, Elon Musk: “Am departing presidential councils.” Leaving climate accord “not good for America or the world.”

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For Disney CEO, Robert Iger, it was a matter of principle: “I’ve resigned from the President’s Council over #ParisAgreement withdrawal.”

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General Electric CEO, Jeff Immelt: “disappointed” in Trump’s decision. “Industry must now lead and not depend on government”

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The Paris agreement is better off without Trump… The Observer

The real moral outrage is not that Trump will likely exit the climate treaty. Whether he stays in or exits the Paris Agreement pales in comparison to what Trump is, and is not, doing domestically in the U.S. on climate change.

US withdrawal from Paris Agreement ‘an irrelevance’, say investors [paywall]… Environmental Finance

“Any company that operates globally will be under pressure from customers, shareholders and foreign regulators to behave in an environmentally friendly manner.”

See:

Exxon shareholders are voting today on the Paris agreement

and…

BlackRock tips shareholder vote to press oil giant on climate risk

Former Greenpeace director: In praise of Trump pulling out of the Paris climate pact… The Hill

The value of the Paris Agreement is in its aspirational goal of limiting temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius, not in its implementation mechanisms, which are voluntary, insufficient, and impossible to monitor. But that modest goal will be breached shortly, which makes the agreement a kind of fig leaf, offering political cover to those who would soft-pedal the runaway climate crisis a while longer.

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