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How climate change will threaten food security of world’s poorest countries

UK ranked as third least vulnerable country with island states the most likely to suffer

Independent by Ian Johnston / June 21, 2017

Some of the world’s poorest countries will be hit hardest as climate change affects marine fisheries all over the world, according to a new study.

The global fishing industry produces a total catch worth of about $90bn (£71bn) but the warming ocean temperatures are causing many valuable species to shift their usual ranges.

The potential for water to hit temperatures lethal to corals such as Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, which support vast amounts of other marine life, is a particular problem.

The researchers assessed 147 countries based on their vulnerability to the effect of future warming on fishing in their waters and their ability to cope with the changes.

The worst-affected countries were mostly small islands, with Kiribati, Micronesia, the Solomon Islands, the Maldives and Vanuatu making up the top five, according to a paper in the journal PLOS ONE.

However, large countries like China, in eighth place, Nigeria (15th) and Indonesia (26th) also featured high on the list.

Ireland was predicted to be the least vulnerable country in 147th place, followed by Chile, the UK, Iceland and Namibia, with the US in sixth.

The five worst-affected countries were given a “vulnerability score” that was eight to nine times higher than those at the bottom of the list.

Writing in the journal, the researchers warned that climate change’s effect on fisheries could harm food security, people’s livelihoods and public health – particularly in poor countries that are less able to cope.

“More than 87 per cent of least developed countries are found within the top half of the vulnerability index, while the bottom half includes all but one of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development member states [wealthy countries],” they said.

“This is primarily due to the tremendous variation in countries’ adaptive capacity, as no such trends are evident from the exposure or sensitivity indices.”

And the countries that have done the least to cause climate change appear to be the ones that can expect their fisheries to be the worst affected by it.

“A negative correlation exists between vulnerability and per capita carbon emissions, and the clustering of states at different levels of development across the vulnerability index suggests growing barriers to meeting global commitments to reducing inequality, promoting human well-being and ensuring sustainable cities and communities,” the researchers wrote.

See article here…….


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Naomi Klein: Any efforts to equate hateful violence with Trump resistance ‘Are Lies’

“This is a nonviolent movement and committed to being so.” – Naomi Klein

“I have no doubt that this horrific event is going to be exploiting for political ends,” Naomi Klein said of Wednesday’s shooting in Virginia. “It already is.” (Photo: Christopher Wahl/The Observer)

Common Dreams by Jon Queally, staff writer 

June 14, 2017

The word “shock” has been used a lot on cable news over the course of the day.

And though it is not quite the kind of large-scale “shock” she explores in her new book, author and activist Naomi Klein says that people should stand firm against anyone who tries to exploit for political purposes the “horrific” violence that took place Wednesday morning when a lone gunman targeted Republican lawmakers and others during practice for a congressional baseball team.

“I think there will cynical and dishonest attempts to associate this economic populist movement with this kind of hateful act. But there is no connection. And people just need to be very clear about that and not be bullied.”
—Naomi Klein
“I have no doubt that this horrific event is going to be exploiting for political ends,” Klein told Common Dreams by phone. “It already is.”

After details emerged showing the assailant in the attack—identified as 66-year-old James T. Hodgkinson of Belleville, Illinois— held negative views of the Republican Party and President Donald Trump, many progressive organizations and individuals involved with the anti-Trump resistance movement quickly denounced the violence. And when Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) learned that Hodgkinson may have volunteered for his presidential campaign last year, he took to the Senate floor nearly immediately to say he was “sickened” by the assault which he described as a “despicable act” of violence.

“I think the very swift and clear response from Bernie Sanders, absolutely repudiating violence of all kinds, is precisely what’s needed,” Klein said. “This is a nonviolent movement and committed to being so.”

Klein continued by saying that Sanders swift rebuke to the violence underlined for her “the fact that we haven’t seen such clear and immediate responses from Trump, when his name has been invoked by killers.”

The president has been roundly rebuked for his selective response to acts of violence—quickly and loudly condemning attacks he perceives as being perpetrated by Muslims or immigrants but going noticeably silent when assailants are white males or those expressing xenophobic vitriol, like in the case of a white supremacist who murdered two men in Portland, Oregon last month.

Klein said nobody in the social justice movement that has converged to confront Trump and his agenda should be cowed into feeling responsible for the hateful violence of one disturbed man.

“This person,” she said, “has absolutely nothing to do with the values of the movement that I am a part of, and attempts to claim otherwise are lies. I think there will be cynical and dishonest attempts to associate this economic populist movement with this kind of hateful act. But there is no connection. And people just need to be very clear about that and not be bullied.”

Klein’s new book—entitled No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need—is out this week and she says those who identify as “economic populists” recognize at this point in history that there are actual powerful interests, in this case Trump and his neoliberal backers, that do need to be countered. “[Those forces] need to be confronted,” she told Common Dreams. “Not violently, but clearly.”

These neoliberal forces, she explains in the book, are driving the major crises the world is now facing: unbridled capitalism, outrageous levels of inequality, and climate change.

But because “not everybody has the same interests” when it comes to battling against theses crises, she says, advocates of the dominant neoliberal order—which places corporate power and profit above all else—would use any opportunity to undermine those fighting back. And while she emphasized that Wednesday’s attack is not the kind of event she thinks of when she talks about the “shock doctrine” formulated in her previous book—and warned against people viewing it as such—the idea that powerful forces would still attempt to take advantage of it was treated as a given.

And so even as some on the political right were already trying to associate the isolated violence in Virginia with the countless non-violent citizens who for months have been mobilizing against Trump, Klein said, “I think people will have the fortitude to recognize how cynical that is.”

See article here………


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Naomi Klein: Behind the Curtain of Trump’s Chaotic Horror Show Is an Effective, Destructive ‘Shock-Creation Machine’

 

Ignore the narrative that Trump is a bumbling idiot: Very bad things are happening, with more to come.

AlterNet by By Celisa Calacal 

June 13, 2017

Shocking, abnormal, unprecedented: These are just some of the words used to describe the Trump presidency since he took office. And with each new statement, tweet or piece of legislation from the Trump administration, many people feel that these antics are unlike anything we’ve seen before.

But author and journalist Naomi Klein disagrees: We have seen this before.

Speaking to a crowded hall June 12 at the Cooper Union in New York City, Klein, whose new book is titled No Is Not Enough: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Needdiscussed the events contributing to Trump’s rise, the future of the progressive movement and the “shocks” left in the wake of Trump’s policies.

Much of Klein’s talk centered around the theory she presents in her 2008 book The Shock Doctrine, but she also differentiated Trump’s policies as a different form of shock. While most media coverage of the White House portrays his administration as a chaotic mess, Klein argued that the media ends up missing the more diabolical policy movements behind the curtain that are “shock-creation machines”—such as the removal of Dodd-Frank and Trump pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord.

“This narrative has emerged that he’s this bumbling idiot, that it’s all chaos,” she said. “And meanwhile, behind the scenes, getting very little media attention is a methodical, very organized redistribution of wealth from lower and middle incomes to the 1 percent of the 1 percent.”

The Rebranding of Trump—How We Got Here

In an analysis that has largely been missing in mainstream media, Klein connected much of Trump’s success to the way he brands himself. Drawing from common marketing practices, she discussed how Trump’s new business model involves the selling and leasing of his name to almost every product imaginable—a corporate model she calls the “hollow brand.” Klein’s analysis of hollow brand marketing builds upon the analysis in her 1999 book, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies.

Beginning in the late-1980s, Klein pointed out, companies began to shift away from their traditional model of creating products and establishing a brand around those products. The new trend in the marketing industry was to sell an idea.

“The product is the marketing tool. Branding is a very colonial process,” she said. “And essentially what they’re selling is group identity.”

Trump, Klein argued, capitalizes on this marketing technique as he built a brand centered on his name while quietly outsourcing the production of his products to developing countries. Klein took a moment to call out similar practices by Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, who has branded himself a progressive climate leader despite his anti-environmental policies in supporting tar sands pipelines.

“I’m a dual Canadian and American citizen, so I feel it’s my responsibility to tell you that Justin Trudeau is a hollow brand,” she said, to loud cheers from the audience.

The danger in this practice lies in the facade that companies are actually fulfilling consumers’ needs.

“They’re not selling anything that meets the need,” Klein said. “They’re selling the promise of meeting the need, which is fantastic for capitalism.”

See article here……

 


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Paris abstention reduces U.S. to a ‘Footnote to climate action.’: McKenna

The Energy Mix by

NEWS OUTLET NDTV @NDTV

The Trump administration’s abstentions at two recent energy and environment gatherings have reduced the country to a “footnote” in international climate negotiations, Canadian Environment and Climate Minister Catherine McKenna told a European news outlet last week.

G7-Bologna-An-empty-seat-at-the-table_rinnovabili.it_G7-Bologna-An-empty-seat-at-the-table_rinnovabili.it_

G7-Bologna-An-empty-seat-at-the-table_rinnovabili.it_

“The U.S. is now left as a footnote to climate action and that’s very sad,” McKenna told Reuters, following a meeting of G7 environment ministers in Bologna, Italy. During the meeting, delegations from six questions made it clear to U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt that American renunciation of the Paris agreement won’t deter the rest of the G7 from taking climate action—and that there is no scope for the U.S. to renegotiate the agreement or dictate amendments, Donald Trump’s fulminations notwithstanding. In a 20-minute side meeting with Pruitt, McKenna reportedly reinforced the reality that reopening the historic global deal is not in the cards.

The climate-denying EPA administrator left the summit after the opening statements, and the junior U.S. diplomats he left behind declined to join senior peers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the European Union in endorsing summit statements on climate change and international development banks. Italy’s environment minister, Gian Luca Galletti, called the Paris accord “irreversible, non-negotiable, and the only instrument possible to combat climate change,” adding that other G7 countries hoped to continue “constructive dialogue” with the U.S. within the “Paris parameters”.

“The unprecedented split is another clear signal that the rest of the world is forging ahead with the actions needed to meet the climate crisis,” despite Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the agreement, observed Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy for the Union of Concerned Scientists. “Together with the pledges made by a growing coalition of U.S. mayors, governors, business leaders, and others to meet America’s Paris commitments without him, the meeting highlights…Trump’s increasing isolation on climate and clean energy issues, both at home and abroad.”

As the G7 ministers’ final statement makes clear, Meyer added, “there is no appetite to ‘renegotiate’ the Paris agreement, and the drive towards a global economy based on clean, renewable energy will continue full speed ahead,” despite Trump’s and Pruitt’s efforts to slow it down.

In a literal footnote to the communique, the U.S. delegation said the country “will continue to engage with key international partners in a manner that is consistent with our domestic priorities, preserving both a strong economy and a healthy environment.” In a separate statement, the EPA insisted Pruitt’s attendance had “reset the climate change discussion” at the G7 meeting.

In a second communiqué at the end of the event, reported by the UN Climate Action Programme, the United States did endorse—although without commitments—the G7 ministers’ collective call on members to increase financing for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to address “resource efficiency, marine litter, [and] green jobs,” while pointedly abstaining from its call for climate action.

In Beijing, meanwhile, where the annual Clean Energy Ministerial convened, the message “from the heads of the International Energy Agency (IEA), the International Renewable Energy Agency, and numerous other speakers was clear and forceful,” report Merran Smith and Dan Woynillowicz, executive director and policy director at Clean Energy Canada: “The transition to clean energy is irreversible.”

Electric vehicle, energy storage, and photovoltaic and wind generation technologies are all developing along tracks that Smith and Woynillowicz call “2DS-compatible”—meaning they’re in line with a scenario to achieve the Paris goal of limiting global warming to 2ºC above pre-industrial levels. But energy efficiency, and private corporate investment in the low-carbon transition, both lag behind what is called for to hit the target.

See article here…….


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UN Climate Secretary opens door for Cities, States to join Paris accord

United Nations Climate Secretary Patricia Espinosa has opened a possible pathway for U.S. cities and states to join the Paris Agreement as full participants.

Durban, South Africa climate summit, 2012

Energy Mix by

NEWS OUTLET GRIST @GRIST
United Nations Climate Secretary Patricia Espinosa has opened a possible pathway for U.S. cities and states to join the Paris Agreement as full participants.
The possibility had provided a ray of hope during informal discussions at COP 22 in Marrakech, but receded in the weeks following the conference. Now Espinosa has rekindled the conversation, though the details are still far from firm.
“This is obviously important, because cities like New York and states like California that intend to pursue the same direction—of reducing emissions very ambitiously—will have a voice and will be able to sign agreements inside the international convention on climate change,” Espinosa told G7 environment ministers during their meeting in Bologna.
California Governor Jerry Brown has already moved to position himself as an alternative American climate leader on the international stage, recently signing energy and climate partnerships with China and Germany. And on Monday, former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry asserted that “we will meet the Paris standards in the United States,” despite White House hostility to the pact.
Yesterday, Fiji Prime Minister Bainimarama reinforced the point by appointing Brown Special Envoy for States and Regions for the COP23 Presidency, and announcing that Fiji would be the first Small Island Developing State to endorse the California-led Under2 Coalition.
But the UN climate process is always a place where the granular details make the difference, and the details behind Espinosa’s statement are not yet entirely clear. “It’s a little bit early to know what exactly is meant” by the UN diplomat’s comment, said Georgetown Climate Center Executive Director Vicki Arroyo.
In the end, “it could refer to subnational representatives, like governors, receiving credentials to attend climate talks and participate in discussions, rather than state or municipal governments literally signing on,” Grist reports.


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Canada pushes for oil sales to China as it seeks climate leadership

The Globe and Mail by Nathan VanderKlippe / Jun. 08, 2017

It did not take long after Donald Trump said he would pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement that Canada and China leaped into the breach, promising to lead the way to a different future.

The fight against rising temperatures is first among “shared human imperatives,” Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said. Emissions reductions are an “international responsibility,” Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said.

But when Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr arrived in Beijing this week, he had a very familiar item on his agenda: promoting a pipeline and the hope that Canadian crude will one day sail across the Pacific in large volumes.

We have to expand our export markets in all of our natural resources,” he told an audience of energy executives and Chinese investors. “And that is why China is so important to us. That’s why we approved a pipeline to take Alberta crude to the West Coast, and then on to Asia.”

It was a theme Mr. Carr revisited in meetings with his Chinese counterparts as he stressed Ottawa’s desire to move oil west over the objections of the NDP-Green Party coalition seeking power in British Columbia.

“The government of Canada is committed to the Trans Mountain expansion project,” Mr. Carr said in an interview. “We believe it’s in the national interest for all of the reasons that we have expressed – job creation, expansion of export markets.”

At meetings for a Clean Energy Ministerial forum, Mr. Carr also advocated for the greater use of carbon capture and storage and for the potential of Canada to export clean technology.

But behind the rhetoric, the continued promotion of Canadian oil and gas in China underscored the degree to which neither country shows any sign of giving up fossil fuels any time soon.

“At the moment, China represents only a fraction of our oil exports and none of our natural gas. We’re looking to change that,” Mr. Carr said.

Canada and China, he added, are “perfect partners,” aligned in pursuing a low-carbon economy and using fossil fuels to get there.

It’s a controversial position, particularly among environmental voices who say Canada is pouring political and financial capital into an endeavour that will deliver a product China may not want in years to come, particularly as Beijing sets course for a less carbon-heavy future.

But the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts China’s oil demand will continue to rise – so much so that, by the early 2030s, it will surpass the United States as the world’s largest consumer. And China’s dependence on imported crude will grow – rising from roughly 65 per cent today to 80 per cent in a decade, estimates Bo Qiang Lin, dean of the China Institute for Studies in Energy Policy at Xiamen University. That means “China will try to diversify its oil demand,” he said.

Meanwhile, dwindling supplies from places such as Venezuela will add to China’s appetite for heavy oil, the kind extracted from Canada’s oil sands. “They have the demand for this crude, they can process it,” said Sushant Gupta, the director of Asia Pacific refining at energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie.

It all has the makings of a plush welcome mat for Canadian crude. Mr. Gupta expects the expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline from Alberta to British Columbia will direct 500,000 barrels a day of Canadian crude to Asia, primarily China, some time after 2020. For the oil patch, new profits will follow, he said. “Those producers will get higher netbacks going to China.”

But Canada’s pipeline plans are being drawn on a changing landscape.

Canada faces growing oil supplies out of the United States that can be pumped more cheaply and in great volumes.

Barring war or other shocks, the future “supply of oil will exceed demand, and so the Chinese don’t need to buy our oil,” said Mark Jaccard, a Simon Fraser University scholar who has served on the China Council for International Co-operation on Environment and Development.

The IEA has said it will review demand forecasts in light of major new efforts by both China and India to move away from gasoline-powered transportation. India this week committed to selling only electric cars by 2030. China, already the world leader in manufacturing and installing wind and solar power, said in April that it expects domestic sales of alternative-energy vehicles to hit roughly seven million by 2025.

The IEA has forecast that global oil demand will rise until 2040, but the agency is “categorically wrong,” said Tim Buckley, director of energy finance studies at the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.

“We’re in a creative destructive technology transition, and there’s going to be a lot of losers in that environment,” Mr. Buckley said, adding that China has two powerful reasons to move away from gasoline: a desire to reduce foreign-energy dependency and an ambition to become the global leader in the next generation of transportation.

“We are going to stop powering cars with gas and shift to electricity and other non-carbon sources,” said Merran Smith, the executive director of Clean Energy Canada, a think tank. “Those who lead on clean-energy technologies now will be the winners. If you’re not in the vanguard of this energy transition, you risk being left behind.”

Still, it takes a lot of Teslas to shut down oil wells. The IEA estimates that 150 million plug-in cars equal 1.3 million barrels of oil a day – just 1.3 per cent of the global demand forecast for this year.

In the meantime, Mr. Carr argued in an interview, “we should use the revenue from conventional sources to finance the transition to renewables. And China understands that.

“This is a transition,” he added. “It’s going to take a while.”

Mr. Carr was joined in China by a contingent of clean-tech firms and environmental thinkers, which Ms. Smith, who was among the group, called a first.

“So that is a good sign and first step that the government is seeing the need to sell Canada’s resourcefulness, not just resources,” she said. Canada has 11 companies on the most recent Global Cleantech top 100 list, she pointed out. The United States has 52 and Britain has seven, while China has just two.

Also in Beijing with Mr. Carr were energy-company executives and Tim McMillan, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

The Natural Resources Minister pointed to the Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance, which shares green technologies between companies extracting bitumen, as evidence that Canada is also moving toward a cleaner future. And Canada’s pursuit of crude exports, he said, is balanced by its investment in an ocean-protection plan and Ottawa’s commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

“We’re working across governments in Canada to achieve that common goal,” he said. “So I don’t see it as a contradiction in direction at all.”

See article here…….


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World Leaders Respond, U.S. States and Cities Step Up as Trump Blunders Out of Paris Agreement

“We governors are going to step into this cockpit and fly the plane,” agreed Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee. “The president wants to ground it. We’re going to fly it.”

                           Durban, South Africa climate summit, 2012

A mounting wave of reaction from world leaders, U.S. states and cities, businesses, and climate analysts and activists greeted Donald Trump’s announcement Thursday afternoon that he will withdraw the United States from the landmark global climate deal that 195 countries negotiated in Paris in 2015.

The overwhelming message: The rest of the world (apart from traditional U.S. allies Syria and Nicaragua) is getting on with the job of implementing the Paris agreement. U.S. states, cities, universities, and businesses will submit their own plan for meeting their country’s Paris targets. And if Trump thinks he can step away from Paris to negotiate a better deal for Americans, he’s about to crash into the harsh, intractable reality of international diplomacy.

“We are getting out,” the former reality TV star said in a statement from the White House Rose Garden. “We will start to negotiate, and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair. And if we can, that’s great.” (Full, meandering text of Trump’s speech here.)

‘Make the Planet (and Pittsburgh) Great Again’

But otherwise, “it is time to put Youngstown, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, along with many, many other locations within our great country, before Paris, France,” Trump added. “It is time to make America great again.”

The New York Times had Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto responding on Twitter: “I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy & future.” And French President Emmanuel Macron concluded his response to Trump’s statement with what may have been the most widely-quoted phrase of the last 24 hours: “Let’s make our planet great again.”

The newly-minted French president also seized the opportunity to reach out to U.S. “scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, committed citizens” who are appalled at a decision being made in their name. “I want to say that they will find in France a second homeland,” he said. “I call on them: ‘Come and work here with us, to work together on concrete solutions for our climate.’” It was the first time a French president had addressed the country and the world from the Elysée Palace in English.

“The United States has turned its back on the world, but we haven’t turned our backs on the Americans,” Macron added in the French version of his speech.

Nothing to Renegotiate

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) Secretariat, in a suitably diplomatic statement, immediately put paid to Trump’s notion that he could unilaterally reopen the complex, meticulously-negotiated international agreement that achieved the fastest entry into force in modern history.

“The Secretariat also notes the announced intention to renegotiate the modalities for the U.S. participation in the agreement. In this regard, it stands ready to engage in dialogue with the United States government regarding the implications of this announcement,” the FCCC said. But “the Paris Agreement remains a historic treaty signed by 195 Parties and ratified by 146 countries plus the European Union. Therefore it cannot be renegotiated based on the request of a single Party.”

If anything, tweeted EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, “today’s announcement has galvanized us rather than weakened us, and this vacuum will be filled by new, broad, committed leadership.”

That leadership got off to a decisive start with a statement from Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni: “We deem the momentum generated in Paris in December 2015 irreversible and we firmly believe that the Paris agreement cannot be renegotiated, since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies, and economies,” they said. In his televised address from the Elysée, Macron added that Trump “committed an error for the interests of his country, his people, and a mistake for the future of our planet,” and France “will not renegotiate a less ambitious accord.” On climate, he affirmed, “there is no plan B because there is no planet B.”

Opening the Floodgates

After months of White House politicking, followed by intensifying international pressure on the U.S. to stick with the Paris deal, Trump’s announcement seemed to unleash a torrent of pent-up frustration, an extension of the passionate defence of global climate action that first emerged in the early days of the 2016 UN climate conference in Marrakech.

“If one country decides to leave a void, I can guarantee that someone else will occupy it,” said UN Secretary-General António Guterres [subs req’d], adding that the “consequences” of disengagement would include a loss of integration that could undermine a country’s “internal security”. Climate Action Network Europe Executive Director Wendel Trio told E&E News that EU countries are also discussing trade retaliation, in the form of “potential border tax adjustments toward consumer goods that would be traded from the United States.”

In an ironic twist for a White House occupant who built his election campaign on the promise that he “digs coal”, U.S. coal stocks (as well as renewable energy shares) lost value Wednesday, on initial reports that Trump’s decision was imminent. “The market reaction reflects concerns, raised by some coal companies in recent months, that a U.S. exit from the Paris climate agreement could unleash a global backlash against coal interests outside the United States,” Reuters reported.

Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk immediately announced he would step away from his somewhat controversial role as a key tech advisor to the Trump White House. “Am departing presidential councils,” he tweeted. “Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.”

“Disappointed with today’s decision on the Paris Agreement,” agreed General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt. “Climate change is real. Industry must now lead and not depend on government.”

Environmental Defense Fund President Fred Krupp said Trump had chosen “a course that defies logic, ignores overwhelming scientific evidence, and disregards the advice of more than 1,000 business leaders who urged him to stand up for climate action and our clean energy economy.” The “main victims of this reckless decision,” he added, “will be American workers and families. It will damage the United States far more than it damages the rest of the world. Shirking our obligation to lead will leave America isolated.”

“Trump’s extremism has isolated us from the global coalition we helped to create—with China, Germany, India, Japan, and 190 other countries—to fight the central environmental challenge of our time,” said Natural Resources Defense Council President Rhea Suh. “He’s sidelined American workers in the clean energy boom that’s remaking the global economy. And he’s abandoned our children to climate catastrophe.”

That means “it’s on the rest of us now—state and local officials, business leaders, citizens, educators, consumers, activists, and congressional members who grasp the stakes for our future—to keep the promise of Paris alive.”

International Leaders Step Up

A remarkable, pervasive response from international leaders largely resolved lingering worries that the U.S. withdrawal might prompt other countries to exit Paris or water down their carbon reduction commitments, thereby severely undermining the historic global deal.

“As a responsible large developing country, China’s resolve, aims, and policy moves in dealing with climate change will not change,” said foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang. Referring to Trump’s oft-repeated meme that climate change is a “hoax” by China aimed at weakening the U.S., Premier Li Keqiang added: “Fighting climate change is a global consensus, it’s not invented by China.

On Friday, China and the EU were expected to announce “a green alliance to combat climate change and counteract any retreat from international action”. And earlier this week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi affirmed his commitment to climate action in a meeting with Merkel.

“We are deeply disappointed that the United States federal government has decided to withdraw from the Paris agreement,” said Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “Canada is unwavering in our commitment to fight climate change and support clean economic growth. Canadians know we need to take decisive and collective action to tackle the many harsh realities of our changing climate.”

“It’s as if they’ve turned their back on the wisdom of humanity,” Japanese environment minister Koichi Yamamoto said of the U.S. “In addition to being disappointed, I’m also angry.” In its more formal statement, Japan’s foreign ministry said climate change “requires a concerted effort by the whole of the international community,” and “Japan was hoping to work with the United States within the framework of the Paris agreement.”

At least one vulnerable small island state weighed in, as well. “While we are extremely disappointed to see the United States seeking to roll back its efforts to reduce emissions, we are heartened to see the rest of the world remains firmly committed to the Paris agreement and to reaping the enormous economic opportunities that come with it,” said Marshall Islands President Hilda Heine. “My country’s survival depends on every country delivering on the promises they made in Paris,” and “our own commitment to it will never waver.”

The Vatican characterized the White House announcement as a “huge slap in the face” for Pope Francis and a “disaster for everyone”, coming just days after the pontiff presented Trump with a copy of his landmark encyclical on climate change, Laudato Si’ (Praise Be).

The Netherlands Foreign Minister Bert Koenders echoed that statement, calling the U.S. withdrawal “a cardinal mistake that is damaging to citizens around the world, including those of the United States. After years of negotiations that led to a good and workable agreement, this feels like a slap in the face,” and “I see no desire for renegotiation here.”

Even Trump’s paymasters loan sharks allies in Russia confirmed they would honour the Paris deal. “President Putin signed this convention in Paris,” said Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov. “Russia attaches great significance to it.”

And in a joint statement, the EU and the African Union said climate change will be high on the agenda at their next summit in November. The two blocs reaffirmed their commitment “to continuing to address the adverse effects of climate change on human and animal health, natural ecosystems, and other social and economic impacts that threaten our developmental gains as a global community.”

U.S. Reaction: ‘Deviant Behaviour from the Highest Office’

Reaction in the United States, meanwhile, showed how powerless Trump is likely to be in countering states and cities that are already leading their country’s response to climate change.

“This is an insane move by this president,” said California Governor Jerry Brown, who described the White House announcement as “deviant behaviour from the highest office in the land.”

“We governors are going to step into this cockpit and fly the plane,” agreed Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee. “The president wants to ground it. We’re going to fly it.”

Brown, Inslee, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced plans to form a U.S. Climate Alliance to uphold the country’s Paris commitments, with Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe already expressing interest in the group.

The New York Times took the story further, reporting that the alliance brings the three states together with 30 mayors, 80 university presidents, and more than 100 businesses so far—and will negotiate with the United Nations to have its action commitment accepted alongside the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) from countries that remain part of the Paris deal. The paper listed Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Salt Lake City as communities that have all signed on, while The Hill reported that New York Mayor Bill de Blasio is also committed to the global deal.

Trump “should know that climate change is a dagger aimed straight at the heart of New York City,” de Blasio tweeted. “The president withdrawing from the Paris agreement would be horribly destructive for the planet, the country, and this city.”

“We’re going to do everything America would have done if it had stayed committed,” said former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who’s coordinating the new alliance. Former UN climate secretary Christiana Figueres, who cast Trump’s Rose Garden moment as “vacuous political melodrama”, said there’s no formal mechanism to include entities other than countries in the Paris accord. But the alliance’s reports could still be included in future UN progress updates on Paris implementation.

The Georgetown Climate Center published a bipartisan list of statements and commitments from the governors of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington, and from District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser.

“Ask any Montana farmer, rancher, hunter, angler, or skier—climate change is real and poses a threat to our economy and way of life,” said Governor Steve Bullock. “To not acknowledge that or deal with it in a responsible way is short-sighted and dangerous.”

“I share concerns many have voiced about flaws in the Paris climate agreement,” added Ohio Governor John Kasich. “I’m convinced we can correct them and improve the agreement, however, by showing leadership and constructively engaging with like-minded nations, not by joining the ranks of holdouts like Syria and Nicaragua.”

C40 Cities circulated an inventory that detailed 2,382 climate actions—37% of which involve some form of international collaboration—already undertaken by the 12 U.S. communities that participate in the global initiative. Those cities are home to one in five of the country’s urban dwellers and account for 30% of U.S. GDP.

Ahead in Monday’s Energy Mix: Is the Paris Agreement better off without the U.S. at the table?

See article here……