Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says he would renegotiate the U.N. global climate deal, or at least America’s role in it.
“I will be looking at that very, very seriously, and at a minimum I will be renegotiating those agreements, at a minimum. And at a maximum I may do something else,” Trump told Reuters earlier this month. "But those agreements are one-sided agreements and they are bad for the United States."
"Not a big fan because other countries don’t adhere to it, and China doesn’t adhere to it, and China’s spewing into the atmosphere," he continued.
Reuters pronounced that a pull-out by the U.S., the world’s second largest GHG emitter, “would hobble the deal reached in Paris last December.” But British climate change expert Tom Burke disagrees, as he told Climate News Network. Burke, who formerly headed Friends of the Earth U.K. and now serves as chairman of the environmental group E3G, called Trump’s statements a “vacuous piece of posturing.” To Burke, Trump’s claims that he would renegotiate the climate deal are just “a message to his potential supporters on the political right.”
“Who would he renegotiate the Agreement with? He can’t renegotiate on his own, and the rest of the world is moving on,” Burke said. “Trump can repudiate the Agreement, but it won’t make a scrap of difference to the rest of the world.”
Politico points out the irony of Trump making disparaging comments publicly about climate change while seeking to protect one of his properties from its impacts. “His public disavowal of climate science at the same time he moves to secure his own holdings against the effects of climate change also illustrates the conflict between his political rhetoric and the realities of running a business with seaside assets in the 21st century,” Politico reporter Ben Schreckinger wrote on Monday.
Former South Carolina congressional member, Rep. Bob Inglis, a Republican, called Trump’s hypocrisy on climate change “diabolical.” He said Trump “is working to ensure his at-risk properties and his company is trying to figure out how to deal with sea level rise.” He pointed out that “it’s conceivable that he might swing around on this.” And the reason why is that “it would be a smart political move for him or for anyone because that’s where the public’s already going.”
And that is where businesses are going too. A 2016 PwC survey found that, out of 1,409 CEOs surveyed in 83 countries, half think climate change is a threat to their businesses' growth prospects. Clearly, Trump agrees with the CEOs surveyed, as his application for a seawall to protect his Irish resort shows, although he won't cop to it publicly.
Image credit: Flickr/Gage Skidmore
Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.