Today, the Paris Climate Agreement enters force, four years early because of grave concerns about climate change from leaders across the world.
Yet, the US could actually elect a climate denier. If Trump wins, he will be the ONLY world leader who denies the existence of climate change.
Trump, in his ignoramous splendor, boasts about tearing up the Paris Climate Agreement, repealing EPA's Clean Power Plan and even abolishing the EPA altogether along with all the regulations that rein in corporate pollution. He couldn't care less about renewable energy or efficiency, but looks forward to opening up every bit of public land and oceans to fracking, coal and oil development.
This week, China's climate negotiator said, "I believe a wise political leader should take policy stances that conform with global trends." The world is moving towards a balance between economic growth and environmental protection, reports Retuers, and if "he resists this trend, economic and social progress in the US will be affected." China is launching a nationwide cap-and-trade program next year.
The Paris Climate Agreement:
Climate Change is #1 World Risk
Each year, the World Economic Forum produces the Global Risks Report, which surveys experts on the five biggest global risks. After being in the top 5 for past three years, failure to deal with climate change rose to #1 this year.
The other four top risks are: weapons of mass destruction; water crises; large-scale involuntary migration; and severe energy price shocks.
As important as the Paris Climate Agreement is, everyone is aware that it doesn't go far enough. Today, the United Nations released a report saying climate ambitions must be raised significantly by 2020 or our last chance to stay below 1.5°C will be gone.
Current country pledges still commit the world to temperature rise of 2.9-3.4°C during this century. Energy emissions must be cut by an additional 25% by 2030 to even stay below 2°.
"We are moving in the right direction: the Paris Agreement will slow climate change, as will the recent Kigali Amendment to reduce HFCs," says Erik Solheim, who heads the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). "This is strong commitment, but it's still not good enough if we are to stand a chance of avoiding serious climate change."
"The need for urgent, immediate action to confront the climate crisis is indisputable," says UNEP. "If we don't start taking additional action now, we will grieve over the avoidable human tragedy. The growing numbers of climate refugees hit by hunger, poverty, illness and conflict will be a constant reminder of our failure to deliver. The science shows that we need to move much faster."
We wouldn't have the Paris Climate Agreement or the Kigali Agreement without President Obama, who used disciplined diplomacy to bring China, India and other nations into the fold. Hillary Clinton would absolutely continue on this path.
This is NOT the time for Trump and his Republican colleagues, who have blocked anything and everything to do with addressing climate change.