Renewable Energy World
Well, what was unthinkable just a short while ago is now the reality, and Donald Trump is President-elect of the United States, sending shockwaves across the U.S. and around the world. The press and social media are rife with speculation about which of the many and often conflicting positions he took during the campaign will become reality.
Much can be read (or not) into a recent (Nov. 22) New York Times interview where he struck a partly conciliatory tone, saying he wasn’t going to prosecute Hillary Clinton for her emails; he wasn’t going to start waterboarding people again; that he was ‘keeping an open mind’ about the Paris Agreement; and that he acknowledged ‘some connectivity’ between human activity and observed climate change.
I was en route to the UNFCCC’s COP 22 in Marrakech when the news came through, and while there were lots of tears, rage, sadness and fear among the many U.S. delegates at the conference, and shock and disbelief among most international delegates, the general attitude was ‘whatever the U.S. does, we’re moving on’.
Perhaps the most sought-after and interesting response was from China. After having repeatedly warned candidate Trump that any move to pull out of Paris would have grave diplomatic consequences, the Chinese delegation in Marrakech rose to the occasion, and somewhat reluctantly, donned the crown of ‘climate leader,’ which the U.S. has held for the past several years. Indeed, it was the cooperation between China and the U.S. last year which set the tone that allowed for the diplomacy resulting in the Paris Agreement, and which saw it enter into force on Nov. 4 — record time for such an agreement.