Malaysia regrets U.S. withdrawal

Mayors of several Northern California cities are banding together with dozens of government leaders across the nation that are pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, despite the U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to depart from the Paris climate accords this week.

He joins more than 80 USA mayors representing 40 million Americans that have agreed to adopt and honor the Paris Climate Agreement.

"As the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases globally at 18 per cent, and with a per-capita emissions level that far exceeds the global average, the U.S. has a moral obligation to continue taking the lead in addressing climate change and its numerous impacts at the global scale", Wan Junaidi said in a press statement yesterday.

The silver lining is that in the USA federal system of government, cities and states have wide powers. She was scathing in her criticism of Trump's move in a statement issued Thursday.

With some USA cities and states immediately voicing support for the Paris deal following Trump's announcement, it is unlikely that the country as a whole will see zero implementation of the pact in real terms.

Without mentioning the US specifically, Li said that "China in recent years has stayed true to its commitment" and pointed out that his was one of the first countries to ratify the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Trump said participation in the pact would undermine the USA economy, wipe out American jobs, weaken national sovereignty and put America at a disadvantage to other countries.

California, New York and Washington, three of the states in the Climate Alliance, represent more than one-fifth of USA gross domestic product and account for at least 10 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, their governors said.

He said MA will continue its commitment to exceed the emission reduction targets of the Paris compact.

This was not the first time that the United States was opting out of an global climate agreement, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) said. China has overtaken the transitioning to renewable energy, generating a fifth of its electricity from renewable sources.

Trump has repeatedly cast doubt on the science of climate change and once called it a hoax perpetrated by China to weaken USA business. The immediate impact of Trump's move could be largely symbolic. The absence of its leadership and financial support in implementing the Agreement could delay actions to both reduce global emissions as well as to adapt to the adverse impacts of the climate change that has already occurred.

White evangelicals overwhelmingly supported Trump, the Republican candidate in November's U.S. Presidential election.

Before Trump announced his decision Thursday afternoon, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told reporters during a visit to Berlin that fighting global warming was a "global consensus" and an "international responsibility".

It isn't just environmentalists who wanted the country to remain a part of the Paris accord.

"Donald Trump is really a representative of a world gone by, a world that is looking back in the rear-view mirror and does not see what is happening today", Hidalgo said. Calculations suggest withdrawal from the Paris accord could result in emissions of up to 3 billion tons of additional carbon dioxide a year - enough to melt ice sheets faster, raise seas higher and trigger more extreme weather.

  • Carolyn Briggs