Public Opinion and Trump's Decision on the Paris Agreement

Somewhat unexpectedly, many major oil companies and other large corporations came out in favor of the agreement, reflecting the realities of shareholder pressure and operating an global business.

Trump counsellor Kellyanne Conway was asked on ABC's "Good Morning America" show whether Trump believed in climate change.

According to polls, most Americans disagree with what he just decided.

That said, despite his accommodations to the rich, in his three terms he did enact initiatives that helped make NYC the 14th greenest city in the USA as of 2016, a remarkable feat for the most populated city in the country, and in the wake of Hurricane Sandy he led the effort to prepare the city for climate change.

That allows the president to insist that he is willing to do something to address climate change - "renegotiating" the Paris accord, perhaps - without saying climate change is a problem.

"Over the course of his dabbling in politics", writes The Washington Post's Philip Bump, "Trump has held almost every possible position on climate change". At its annual meeting in Dallas this week, ExxonMobil shareholders approved a proposal to force the company to release assessments of how technology advancement and global climate change policies could affect the company's business. It is an incredibly important step. The governors of California, New York, Washington, Massachusetts, Oregon, Colorado, Hawaii, Connecticut, Virginia and Rhode Island have vowed to continue to honor the accord.

Republican Gov. John Kasich also criticized Trump's retreat from the Paris deal.

In terms of the agreement's benefits to the world's climate, Trump claimed they would be minimal.

In 2016, the Union of Concerned Scientists, a non-profit science advocacy group, assessed that 128 coastal military installations in the United States would be threatened by a three-foot increase in sea levels. This means that large corporations like BP and Shell, which are based in Europe, will still have to toe the politically correct line in their worldwide operations.

It's unclear whether the pro-Paris group of non-federal government and businesses can earn any sort of official standing with the United Nations overseers of the climate agreement. Over the five years between 2020 and 2025, the U.S. will emit a total of about 2.5 billion more tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent greenhouse gases than it would if it got on a path to meet its 2025 goal.

The joining Syria and Nicaragua as the only two countries that are part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change who are not parties to Paris. "Suddenly injecting a bunch of uncertainty into the debate makes long-lasting, slow-to-build, expensive assets-like nuclear-even riskier", said Michael Webber, deputy director of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin. As people start to see and feel the clean energy economy unfolding around them, they'll be more likely to support politicians who are calling for a transition away from fossil fuels, and less likely to believe the type of lies Trump was spewing from the White House on Thursday. Leaving the accord, like overturning the Clean Power Plan, has been a boon to the industry.

The accord, adopted in December 2015 by 195 countries, was initially championed by Trump's predecessor, Barack Obama, and by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Some Ohio businesses are dismayed by President Donald Trump's decision to back out of the global agreement to fight climate change.

For major natural gas producers like ExxonMobil, that's a win-win: cut down King Coal so Big Oil can take the throne. "I do believe we certainly have an impact".

  • Leroy Wright