Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to The Guardian, The World Economic Forum, a forum composed of large businesses, is concerned that President Trump is withdrawing from global climate agreements which would have triggered the transfer of vast sums of US taxpayer’s cash to large businesses.
US unilateralism makes tacking climate change harder, WEF warns
Donald Trump’s time in office has coincided with huge increase to all five eco risks surveyed
The World Economic Forum delivered a strong warning about Donald Trump’s go-it-alone approach to tackling climate change as it highlighted the growing threat of environmental collapse in its annual assessment of the risks facing the international community.
In the run-up to the US president’s speech to its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, next week, the WEF avoided mentioning Trump by name but said “nation-state unilateralism” would make it harder to tackle global warming and ecological damage.
The WEF’s global risks perception survey showed Trump’s arrival in the White House in 2017 had coincided with a marked increase in concern about the environment among experts polled by the Swiss-based organisation.
It said all five environmental risks covered by the survey – extreme weather events, natural disasters, failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse, and human-made natural disasters – had become more prominent.
“This follows a year characterised by high-impact hurricanes, extreme temperatures and the first rise in CO2 emissions for four years. We have been pushing our planet to the brink and the damage is becoming increasingly clear.
“Biodiversity is being lost at mass-extinction rates, agricultural systems are under strain, and pollution of the air and sea has become an increasingly pressing threat to human health.”
Here is what the World Economic Forum actually said in its report;
… Humanity has become remarkably adept at understanding how to mitigate conventional risks that can be relatively easily isolated and managed with standard risk- management approaches. But we are much less competent when it comes to dealing with complex risks in the interconnected systems that underpin our world, such as organizations, economies, societies and the environment. There are signs of strain in many of these systems: our accelerating pace of change is testing the absorptive capacities of institutions, communities and individuals. When risk cascades through a complex system, the danger is not of incremental damage but of “runaway collapse” or an abrupt transition to a new, suboptimal status quo.
In our annual Global Risks Perception Survey, environmental risks have grown in prominence in recent years. This trend has continued this year, with all ve risks in the environmental category being ranked higher than average for both likelihood and impact over a 10-year horizon. This follows a year characterized by high-impact hurricanes, extreme temperatures and the first rise in CO2 emissions for four years. We have been pushing our planet to the brink and the damage is becoming increasingly clear. Biodiversity is being lost at mass-extinction rates, agricultural systems are under strain and pollution of the air and sea has become an increasingly pressing threat to human health. A trend towards nation-state unilateralism may make it more difficult to sustain the long-term, multilateral responses that are required to counter global warming and the degradation of the global environment. …
Ever since President Trump won the Presidency, greens have assured us that the world can tackle climate change without the help of national governments, that businesses would step into the breach and fix the climate by sacrificing their profits for the greater good – but they keep pointing out their efforts are limited because they don’t have access to US Federal funds.
… Despite the geographical proximity of the “America’s Pledge” delegation, there are limits to what non-state actors can do. They are excluded from many of the technical talks and cannot tap into federal funds that states use to finance commitments to slow climate change or reduce its impacts. More importantly, it is harder for them to set a course for the country.
But while that is missing, Antha Williams, head of the Bloomberg Philanthropies environment team, said it was necessary to fill the void.
“It would be better if we saw leadership from the White House, but the overarching point is that cities, states and companies that represent more than half of the US are showing their support for climate action.” …
In my opinion your President stopped the greatest smash and grab ever attempted, but the risk is still very real. Keep President Trump from harm, because there is a lot more work required to secure the President’s victory over the climate kleptocrats.