Guest post by David Middleton
US Republicans are expected to axe billions of dollars in climate finance when they take the White House and Congress in January.
Funds to help poor countries adapt to the impacts of global warming and develop sustainably will be redirected to domestic priorities.
“We are going to cancel billions in payments to the UN climate change programmes and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure,” said President-elect Donald Trump in his 22 October Gettysburg address.1
With a Republican majority in the Senate and House of Representatives, there appears to be little standing in his way.
“That brings a fear to African countries,” Akabiwa Nyambe, a Zambian official, told Climate Home at a side meeting of COP22 climate talks in Marrakech. “We have been looking forward to the US bringing a lot of funding into projects… It drops our faces.”
How mentally deficient does one have to be to refer to the cancellation of billions of dollars of climate-related welfare payments as a “raid”?
Simple Definition of raid
: a surprise attack on an enemy by soldiers or other military forces
: an occurrence in which police suddenly enter a place in a forceful way to find criminals, illegal drugs, etc.
: an act of going into a place (such as a bank) in order to steal something
The ignorance of these people is mind boggling…
Rachel Kyte, head of the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All programme, said Trump did not have a mandate to reverse US climate finance commitments. “All developed countries made promises,” she said. “A promise made has to be a promise kept.”
The U.S. has no “climate finance commitments.” Outgoing President Obama had a commitment. He made the promise. These United States did not make any promises or commitments. The only ways in which this country could have made such a promise would have been through a treaty or legislation. Furthermore, President-elect Trump has a mandate.
Simple Definition of mandate
: an official order to do something
: the power to act that voters give to their elected leaders
Having won the Election, President Trump will have a mandate to carry out the duties outlined in Article II of the U.S. Constitution, nothing more and nothing less.
Outside the UN processes, institutional inertia and a measure of Republican support is likely to keep some funding streams open.
Then there was President Obama’s personal championing of the cause. In 2014, he ordered all international development aid to be climate-proofed – the kind of precaution a sceptic administration could easily reverse.
And he channeled diplomatic efforts into persuading G20 allies, for example, to stump up. “We won’t have that and we won’t really have the administration leadership valuing that part of the picture,” said Peterson.
11 NOV 2016: ANALYSIS
What a Trump Win Means For the Global Climate Fight
Donald Trump’s ascension to the presidency signals an end to American leadership on international climate policy. With the withdrawal of U.S. support, efforts to implement the Paris agreement and avoid the most devastating consequences of global warming have suffered a huge blow.
by David Victor
With the unexpected triumph of Donald Trump, what’s in store for U.S. climate and energy policies?[…]One thing is clear: The Trump administration will inflict more harm on global cooperation around climate than any prior president. After the successful Paris agreement last year, that cooperation was finally poised to make progress with decisive U.S. leadership. I doubt that a Trump presidency will kill the Paris process — too many other countries are too invested in its success. But it will shift the intellectual and political leadership of the process from the United States to other countries, most notably China.[…]If the U.S. leaves Paris and eliminates its leadership role, that leaves China to steer the ship.[…]ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Victor is a professor at the School of Global Policy and Strategy, University of California at San Diego and chairman of the Global Agenda Council on Governance for Sustainability at the World Economic Forum. He is also co-chair of the Brookings Initiative on Energy & Climate. Victor is author of Global Warming Gridlock and numerous essays on climate cooperation.