Dominic Lawson: The piercing call to prayer of the muezzin is a familiar sound to anyone who has spent time in Marrakesh. But a different wailing rent the air there last week. It came from the 20,000 or so people who had jetted in for the annual UN Climate Change Conference. To describe those delegates and attendant lobbyists as most upset by Donald Trump’s victory in the battle for the US presidency does no justice to their grief. The Guardian’s man at this colossal carbon-fest reported that many were in tears. One told him: “My heart is absolutely broken at the election of Trump.” Another lamented: “Everyone is in shock.” The reason for this mass nervous breakdown of environmentalists is obvious. Trump has declared that the “concept of global warming” was “created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive”. In this spirit, he has pledged to reverse President Obama’s signing of the Paris agreement, in which the US for the first time committed itself to CO2 emission reductions under a UN-regulated scheme. Unlike Trump’s better-known pledge to introduce protectionist measures against Chinese imports via steeply increased tariffs, this would be one with no downside for American consumers. And, given Obama had used an “executive agreement” to give US consent to the Paris accord, rather than seek the approval of Congress, it would hardly be inappropriate if his successor was similarly imperial in revoking it. Trump’s team has also indicated – to make matters clearer still – that it might simply withdraw America from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Times 20th Nov 2016 read more »
Leonardo DiCaprio’s environmental foundation has praised Scotland’s approach to renewable energy and climate change which it said sets an example for the world. The Oscar-winning star warned during last week’s Scottish Business Awards that US president-elect Donald Trump could face an “uprising and strong backlash” if he sticks to pledges he made on the environment during his election campaign. But while he was gloomy about the approach taken by Trump, who once described climate change as a Chinese hoax, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation head Terry Tamminen said other countries could learn from Scotland.
Times 20th Nov 2016 read more »
Campaigners have expressed “extreme disappointment” at the outcome of the United Nations climate change summit in Marrakesh, saying the nations most vulnerable to the effects of a warming planet. The Paris conference last year was widely regarded as a success, but this was based largely on promises to tackle the problem. Marrakesh was seen as the event at which those pledges would be turned into action. The planet has already warmed by 1ºC and at Paris it was agreed to try to limit this to as close to 1.5ºC as possible to avoid “severe, pervasive and irreversible” impacts. Yet environmental campaigners said the Morocco summit was again heavy on rhetoric and light on real progress, with rich countries failing to do enough to help the developing world. The recent election of Donald Trump, who has previously called global warming a “hoax”, has raised fears that the US’s climate promises could be withdrawn. Isabel Kreisler, of Oxfam, said not enough money was being given to the world’s poorest countries to help them adapt to changes that are already happening because of global warming. Climate change is affecting poor states in Africa and Asia much more than the developed world, which built its wealth on the fossil fuels that caused the problem.
Independent 20th Nov 2016 read more »