Courtesy of former New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, the United States will meet its commitment to the Paris climate change pact despite President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement, reports from the Guardian UK; Forbes; and Washington Post, have indicated.
This is just as China; India; and the European Union, have stepped up their commitments to soften the impacts the withdrawal of the US could have on the pact.
US, the second biggest polluter after China, opted to pull out of the deal, claiming it allowed countries such as China and India to carry on polluting at the expense of its (US) economy and jobs.
Announcing his decision, Trump, said the US would stop implementing measures to meet its commitments under the agreement to cut emissions by 26 to 28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2025. He also noted the US will end funding for poor countries to cope with climate change.
However, many analysts suggest the shift to a low-carbon economy was now unstoppable, with renewable prices tumbling and new clean technology being developed and deployed.
Similarly, Trump’s decision prompted criticism from many US business leaders, including clean-tech entrepreneur and Tesla chief executive, Elon Musk as well as chief executive of Walt Disney company, Robert Iger. Both executives subsequently resigned from Trump’s business advisory council over this.
But Bloomberg, who is currently a United Nations special envoy for cities and climate change, said to partially alleviate the impact of the policy shift, his foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, would put in up to $15 million to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The UNFCCC works principally to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, and would likely lose a comparable amount in funding from the US as a result of Trump’s withdrawal.
“Americans are not walking away from the Paris Climate Agreement. Just the opposite – we are forging ahead,” said Bloomberg in a statement.
He further stated: “The US will meet our Paris commitment and through a partnership among American cities, states, and businesses, we will seek to remain part of the Paris Agreement process.”
According to him: “The American government may have pulled out of the agreement, but the American people remain committed to it – and we will meet our targets.
Americans don’t need Washington to meet our Paris commitment and Americans are not going to let Washington stand in the way of fulfilling it. That’s the message mayors, governors, and business leaders all across the US have been sending.”
Indeed, scientists have warned that a failure to curb dangerous climate change will lead to sea level rises, more intense storms and flooding, more extreme droughts, water shortages and heatwaves as well as massive loss of wildlife and reduction in crop yields, potentially sparking conflict and mass migration across the world.
EU, China, India ramp commitments
Also, on the back of Trump’s policy shift on the Paris pact, the EU; China; and India, have indicated their willingness to raise their commitments to level up the exit of the US from the framework.
In a press conference after a summit between the EU and China, European council president Donald Tusk, said the bloc was stepping up co-operation with China on climate change.
“Which means that today, China and Europe have demonstrated solidarity with future generations and responsibility for the whole planet,” said Tusk.
Tusk stated that the US decision to leave the Paris agreement was a “big mistake”, bigger than its failure to ratify the previous international climate deal, the Kyoto Protocol, because the new agreement – which covers all countries – was fairer.
“But the fight against climate change, and all the research, innovation and technological progress it will bring, will continue, with or without the US,” he noted.
Also during a visit to Berlin, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, stood alongside German Chancellor, Angela Merkel and said that failing to act on climate change was a “morally criminal act,” thereafter affirming India’s commitment to the pact.