Climate showdown

Climate showdown

Giancarlo Strocchia
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The world is awaiting Trump's decision on a possible "rejection" of the Paris Climate Treaties. But will it be a real defeat for the international community, intent on combating the adverse effects of the uncontrolled rise in temperatures, or can the world continue without fear along the path to global safeguarding?

Generally, if we were to rely on the customs initiated on Donald Trump's arrival at the White House, we should consider that the US president's decision on whether or not the United States will stay in the Paris Climate Accords could simply come via Twitter. After Taormina, contradictory voices on the subject were raised at an almost hourly rate, but the president did not seem to be willing to make a decision. To his colleagues of the G7, probably egged on by the jovial Sicilian atmosphere, Trump implied he might be prepared to take a step back, though subsequently backtracking once he was back on the other side of the Atlantic, aboveall in confirmation of his electoral promises. In actual fact, a decision that would see Washington's withdrawal from the 2015 agreements would be disappointing not only  to America's partners in the Group of leading nations, but would also be unpopular with a substantial part of the establishment inside the US, in addition to environmental and health pressure groups and many ''historical'' exponents of the selfsame Republican party. Meanwhile, the best strategies are being studied. Indeed, the divorce, if it happens, won't be instantaneous. According to the same Paris treaties, the acceding countries cannot ask official withdrawal from the agreement until three years from its entry into force, which runs from November 2016. Which means that Trumps long-awaited disengagement cannot take anything less than three years, a timespan within which the United States might also have a rethink.

Better with the US in or out?

Indeed, some analysts and environmental experts would not be so desperate about the idea of ​​ the US exiting from the Paris agreement. As many observe, if Trump decides to keep faith with America’s signing of the agreement, he would almost certainly take on an indolent, not to say adverse attitude, to the commitments made in 2015 and their gradual translation into concrete measures, or that is at the expense of a general progress ''in the field" of the strategy for defending the planet from a disastrous rise in temperatures. Luke Kemp, a politologist and climate expert at Australian National University, ventured the hypothesis that, ''with or without the US, the Paris accords will continue. Whether Washington is present or not will have no impact on funding programs that go towards forming the Green Climate Fund, a support platform for the least-developed countries, so that they can launch environmental protection programs or stop the disastrous process involving the rest of the world. Recently the news is that the European Union and China are working on a common environmental action plan to address the United States’ possible withdrawal.

Internal and international consistency

Moreover, Trump’s conduct on the Environmental front is consistent both on the domestic front and on the international scene. As announced in the electoral campaign, and strongly supported by Secretary of the US Department of Energy, Richard Perry, Trump is gradually dismantling the ''eco-friendly'' architecture set up by his predecessor, weakening many national programs - such as the Clean Power Plans for the Electricity Industry and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rules - which, according to Obama, would have been the operational instrument to allow the country to reach its Paris goals. Kemp himself argues that without them, the country ''will probably miss its own objective of defence against the effects of climate change''. At this point, all we can do is blandly wait for the definitive tweet, which will once again confirm, at the cost of every possible consequence, ''America First.''