US rolls back progress made on climate change policy

Posted on 28 March 2017    

Increased climate impactsConsequences of climate and climate change on natural and human systems. (IIED)A specific change in a system caused by its exposure to climate change. Impacts may be harmful (threat) or beneficial (opportunity). (UKCIP) – like floodingThe overflowing of the normal confines of a stream or other body of water, or the accumulation of water over areas that are not normally submerged. Floods include river (fluvial) floods, flash floods, urban floods, pluvial floods, sewer floods, coastal floods, and glacial lake outburst floods ... – affects millions of people every year.

© Lieut. Cmdr Mark Moran, NOAA Corps, NMAO – AOC

GLAND, Switzerland (28 March, 2017) –The US government today announced a decision to roll back components of the existing strategy for meeting its climate commitments under the Paris Agreement.
 
This action by the Trump Administration includes steps to dismantle the Clean Power Plan, a key component of the US’ plan to deliver on its greenhouse gas emissionsGreenhouse gas emissions cause dangerous anthropogenic climate change. Emissions include CO2, fluoridated gases, methane which are emitted by human activity such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels, and water vapour. reduction commitments.
 
In response, WWF’s global Climate & Energy Practice Leader, Manuel-Pulgar Vidal, said: “Hampering the US’ ability to deliver on its international climate commitments will impact the world’s climate trajectory, but it will not define its outcome.
 
“Our ability to achieve the promise of the Paris Agreement does not rest on the actions of one government alone.  At COP22 held in Marrakech last year, French President Holland said the Paris Agreement is an ‘irreversible’ process. We agree.
 
“The speed and scale of meeting the climate challenge has always required global solutions from all parts of the international community. It is up to all of us to reaffirm our commitment for a clean energy future, and to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement.
 
“Companies and cities are not waiting to act; neither should we. Delivering on the Paris Agreement means more jobs, fewer health problems and increased access to cheaper, cleaner electricity. We have no time to lose: momentum remains on our side and together, we are unstoppable.”
 
Carter Roberts, president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund-US said: “The leading nations of the world have come together in recent years to face the threat of climate changeClimate change is a lasting change in weather patterns over long periods of time. It can be a natural phenomena and and has occurred on Earth even before people inhabited it. Quite different is a current situation that is also referred to as climate change, anthropogenic climate change, or ... and to create the millions of new jobs needed for a renewable energyRenewable energy is power generated from infinite sources, such as wind or solar power. Conventional energy is generated from finite sources, such as natural gas or fossil oil. economy. Leadership from the United States proved critical in this success. 
 
“Now over 3.3 million Americans are employed in building low-carbon vehicles, cutting energy wasteWaste consists of unwanted and thrown away goods that often still have value as fuel or raw material. and providing clean energy to communities here at home, more than all US jobs from fossil fuelsEnergy from fossil sources, such as natural gas and oil. This type of energy contributes to climate change and because of its finite nature it is not a permanent resource. combined.
 
“Rolling back US commitments to cut carbon pollution not only harms the futures of our children and grandchildren, it undercuts our ability to compete in the massive growth in demand for renewable energy around the world. As recent polling from Yale University shows, a majority of Americans in every part of the country supports these kinds of pollution cuts from dirty power plants.”
 
“This decision is at odds with the sweeping actions already being taken by companies, states, cities and communities across America, who are creating a future powered by clean energy, and who must now pick up the mantle of US climate leadership without the support of our federal government.
 
“In a world made safer by agreements between countries, today’s decision would repeal the current US plan to meet its commitment under the Paris Agreement without providing a replacement. 
 
“We strongly urge President Trump and his administration to develop a clear and effective plan to meet our international commitments and safeguard our economy. We urge them to protect the American people and our communities as required under the Clean Air Act.”

For more information, contact Mandy Jean Woods mwoods@wwf.org.za +27 72 393 0027

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