Existing climate efforts expected to keep US goals on track

President Donald Trump may have pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord, but that didn't stop California Governor Jerry Brown and Chinese President Xi Jinping from signing their own climate agreement in Beijing on Tuesday.

"Nobody can stay on the sidelines".

Meanwhile, South Korea suspended any further deployment of a controversial United States missile defence system until an environmental impact assessment ordered by new President Moon Jae-In is finished, his office said Wednesday. "But we will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that's fair".

The signers agree the Paris Agreement is a blueprint for job creation, stability and global prosperity and that accelerating the US transition to clean energy is an opportunity - not a liability - to create jobs, spur innovation, promote trade and ensure American competitiveness.

He said his administration would begin negotiations to reenter the Paris accord or another climate treaty "on terms that are fair" to the US.

Obama did not mention Trump by name in his speech and in a question and answer session afterward.

Scientists anticipate that climate change could push the Earth to risky temperatures much sooner with the U.S. retreat from the pledge because the country burns so much energy.

Brown told Reuters last week that he would discuss linking China's carbon trading platforms with California's, the biggest in the United States. Wan did not publicly address Trump's move on the accord, which has been ratified by nearly 150 countries. The agreement builds on subnational pacts Brown signed with officials in Sichuan and Jiangsu provinces earlier this week.

"In the USA, it is local and state governments, along with businesses, that are primarily responsible for the dramatic decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in recent years", the letter stated. According to U.S. Department of Energy estimates, fossil-fuel power plants employ some 180,000 workers nationally, compared with 375,000 jobs in solar.

At the same time, Chinese leaders face growing public pressure at home to reduce the health-damaging smog that blankets many urban areas.

Respondents were also skeptical of the prospect of sending money to developing countries to help them shift toward cleaner sources of energy. Its consumption of coal fell in 2016 for a third consecutive year.

Xi said local-level exchanges and cooperation were an important pillar of China-U.S. relations, hoping that the two sides could make local-level exchanges and cooperation into a new engine for the growth of bilateral relations.

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry also is due to attend this week's energy meeting in Beijing. Still, the governor says everyone needs to do more. Cheap natural gas and tighter pollution restrictions toppled coal from its dominant position in the US power sector during Obama's tenure.

Together, the "Climate Mayors" said they would work toward meeting the 1.5 celsius target set in the Paris Agreement and continue to invest in renewable energy and electric cars, while cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

  • Leroy Wright