Trump admin backs UN oceans plan

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United States supported a global call to action at the United Nations on Friday to conserve and sustainably use oceans, seas and marine resources, even as it noted President Donald Trump’s plan to withdraw from a pact to fight climate change.

The first U.N. Ocean Conference ended on Friday with the adoption of a Call to Action, which said: “We are particularly alarmed by the adverse impacts of climate change on the ocean.”

“We recognize, in this regard, the particular importance of the Paris Agreement, adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,” it read.

After the consensus adoption, David Balton, deputy U.S. assistant secretary for oceans and fisheries, reminded the summit “that on June 1 our president announced that the United States will withdraw from or renegotiate U.S. participation in the Paris agreement or another international climate deal.”

Trump’s decision to pull the United States from the landmark 2015 Paris agreement drew anger and condemnation from world leaders and heads of industry.

Speaking after the United States, French Ambassador for the Oceans Serge Segura received applause from delegates in the U.N. General Assembly after stating climate change was real.

“France is committed to upholding all of our obligations under the Paris agreement both for our welfare, but also for the welfare of the international community as a whole,” he said.

The week long ocean summit promoted partnerships, such as between governments and businesses, to address issues such as marine pollution, ocean acidification, and marine research. More than 1,300 voluntary commitments to save the ocean were made.

Safegarding the ocean was one of 17 goals adopted in 2015 by the 193 U.N. member states as part of an agenda for the world’s sustainable development up to 2030. Another goal calls for “urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.”

 

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Tom Brown)

 

‘President Trump believes the climate is changing’: Ambassador Haley

Contact the White House!  Tell President Trump to DROP his belief in liberal hoaxes! – Donald Ferguson

(Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump “believes the climate is changing,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Saturday after Trump’s decision to take the United States out of the Paris climate accord sparked dismay across the world.

“President Trump believes the climate is changing and he believes pollutants are part of the equation,” Haley said during an excerpt of a CNN interview released on Saturday. The interview will be broadcast on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.

Trump “knows that it’s changing and that the U.S. has to be responsible for it and that’s what we’re going to do,” Haley said.

On Thursday, Trump announced the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate change pact, tapping into his “America First” campaign theme. He said participating in the pact would undermine the U.S. economy, wipe out jobs, weaken national sovereignty and put his country at a permanent disadvantage.

“Just because the U.S. got out of a club doesn’t mean we aren’t going to care about the environment,” Haley said.

Later on Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence said that remaining in the accord would have proved costly to U.S. economic growth and to the working-class Americans at the core of Trump’s political base.

“By withdrawing from the Paris climate accord, President Donald Trump chose to put the forgotten men and women of America first. And he always will,” Pence told a political rally in Iowa.

On Friday, nobody at the White House was able to say whether Trump believed in climate change. In recent years, he has expressed skepticism about whether climate change is real, sometimes calling it a hoax. But since becoming president, he has not offered an opinion.

The decision to take the United States out of the pact prompted a negative reaction around the world, and world leaders redoubled their commitment to an accord agreed to by every country on the planet save Nicaragua and Syria.

China and Europe on Friday pledged to unite to save what German Chancellor Angela Merkel called “our Mother Earth,” standing firmly against Trump’s decision.

The vast majority of scientists believe global warming is mainly the result of human activities, including power generation, transportation, agriculture and industry.

A small group of skeptics, some of them in the White House, believe the Paris pact threatened business.

 

(Reporting by Mike Stone; additional reporting by David Morgan; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

 

#ParisAgreement means global carbon prices will soar 2000 percent: World Bank

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By Susanna Twidale

LONDON (Reuters) – The cost of emitting carbon dioxide must rise to $50-$100 per tonne by 2030, much higher than the current price in Europe of less than $6, if countries are to meet climate pledges made under the Paris Agreement, economists said on Monday.

It follows a call this month by a group of more than 200 businesses and governments, including oil majors Shell and BP, for a worldwide carbon pricing system to prevent dangerous levels of global warming.

For now, 40 countries, more than 20 cities and some other areas price carbon emissions using taxes or emissions trading systems (ETS). But the schemes only cover about 15 percent of global heat-trapping greenhouse gases, and the businesses say pricing systems need to be extended to the rest of the world.

The Commission on Carbon Prices, a group of 13 leading economists supported by the World Bank, said in their report that carbon dioxide prices would need to be $40-$80 per tonne by 2020, rising to $50-$100 per tonne the following decade.

“If we are going to meet the commitments of Paris, we will have to have prices (at those levels) … The costs of not doing it will be much higher,” Columbia University Professor Joseph E. Stiglitz, a commission member, told a news briefing.

High prices for carbon dioxide, against which most greenhouse gasses are prices, make it more expensive for firms to emit the pollutants and encourage investment in low carbon technology, such as wind and solar power or energy efficiency measures.

Under the Paris deal, more than 190 countries pledged to keep planet-warming well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) to stave off the worst effects of climate change.

Prices in Europe’s ETS, the world’s largest carbon market, now trade around 5 euros ($5.60) a tonne and are forecast to average just over 16 euros a tonne from 2021-2030.

Stiglitz said it was reasonable to expect global carbon prices to rise much higher and many firms based investment decision on much higher prices than now. Shell and BP work out the feasibility of projects based on a carbon price of $40.

The commission said carbon pricing needed to be combined with policies to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy and innovation.

While carbon pricing was a good idea for all nations, poorer countries might need to start at a lower level and build to a higher price, the report said.

($1 = 0.8929 euros)

(Additional reporting by Ron Bousso; Editing by Edmund Blair)

France’s Macron urges Trump to avoid hasty climate change decision

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By Marine Pennetier

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron urged Donald Trump on Thursday not to take any hasty decisions on a global climate change deal that the U.S. president threatened during his election campaign to abandon.

Macron and Trump also discussed the Syrian crisis, counter-terrorism and defense spending over lunch at the U.S. ambassador’s residence in Brussels, their first meeting since Macron was elected on May 7 after a turbulent campaign.

Macron, a centrist, described their conversation as warm and pragmatic but also said it had been “extremely direct and very frank”, acknowledging there were subjects where the two leaders did not necessarily see eye-to-eye.

French diplomats had said beforehand that Macron would use the meeting to try to convince Trump to stick to a global deal to combat climate change.

Trump, who doubts climate change is human-made and made a campaign pledge to “cancel” the 2015 Paris Agreement, has postponed a planned decision on whether to stay or leave that had been due before the May 26-27 summit in Italy.

Macron said he respected Trump’s decision to put the Paris agreements under review.

“I reminded him of the importance these agreements have for us,” Macron said, adding that the pact was also important for job creation and economic development.

“My wish in any case is that there should be no hasty decision on this subject by the United States because it is our collective responsibility to retain the global nature of this pledge, which was a first,” Macron told reporters.

On the Syrian conflict, Macron said he hoped all parties to the conflict could agree to create a diplomatic roadmap to a settlement, “and I think that he (Trump) shares this view.”

A White House summary of the meeting did not mention climate change but said Trump had urged France to meet the NATO target of spending 2 percent of GDP on defense and to ensure that NATO was focused on counter-terrorism. France spent about 1.8 percent of its GDP on defense in 2016, according to NATO figures.

When the two leaders met, Trump was fulsome in his congratulations on Macron’s election victory over far-right leader Marine Le Pen, saying he had run “an incredible campaign and had a tremendous victory”.

“All over the world they are talking about it and we have a lot to discuss including terrorism and other things. Congratulations, great job,” Trump said.

Although the two men barely know each other but they seemed to have a hard time letting go when they first met.

Each man gripped each other’s right hand so firmly that their knuckles turned white and their jaws seemed to clench.

When NATO leaders greeted Macron at the new alliance headquarters later, Macron pointedly headed straight for German Chancellor Angela Merkel, embracing her and shaking the hand of NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg before another muscular handshake with Trump.

(Writing by Michel Rose and Adrian Croft, editing by Ed Osmond and Angus MacSwan)

Trump has not yet made final decision on Paris climate deal: Tillerson

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) – President Donald Trump has not yet made a final decision on whether the United States will remain a party to the Paris climate accords but will do so only after this week, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One as Trump flew to Brussels from Rome on a European tour, Tillerson said Trump would take up whether to stay in the accord to cap global emissions when he gets back to Washington at the weekend.

“The president indicated that we were still thinking about that, that he hasn’t made a final decision,” Tillerson told reporters, adding that he was unsure whether Trump discussed climate change with Pope Francis earlier in the day but that he had done so with a senior Vatican official.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Alissa de Carbonnel; Editing by Alastair Macdonald)

Trump Must Resist Pressure From Foreign Leaders to Cave in on Global Warming

President Donald Trump has arrived in Italy for the G-7 summit, where foreign leaders will press him to abandon core elements of his “America First” agenda in favor of a more globalist agenda.

As National Public Radio reported last week, “President Trump is expected to face pressure from European Union leaders … to keep the U.S. in the Paris Climate Treaty.”

Leaders from those foreign nations should prepare for disappointment.

The start of the G-7 summit, held in the swanky coastal town of Taormina, located on the island of Sicily, just happens to be the one-year anniversary of Trump’s famous energy policy speech in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Then-candidate Trump made clear that his administration would “cancel the Paris climate agreement,” both because it was bad for America and because it violated our nation’s laws:

President [Barack] Obama entered the United States into the Paris climate accord unilaterally and without the permission of Congress. This agreement gives foreign bureaucrats control over how much our energy and how much we use right here in America. So foreign bureaucrats are gonna be controlling what we’re using and what we’re doing on our land in our country. No way. No way.

A lot can change in 365 days, but the fundamental flaws of the Paris Agreement that Trump identified have not.

Speaking to NPR’s Ari Shapiro last week, Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben van Beurden rightly noted that “[o]f course it is the U.S.’s sovereign decision” on whether to pull out of the Paris Agreement.

America is a geographically diverse and expansive nation, which makes comprehensive global regulatory schemes difficult to implement without massive disruption.

In fact, during a recent speech in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Trump said “it is estimated that for compliance with the [Paris Agreement] could ultimately shrink America’s [gross domestic product] by $2.5 trillion … ”

The numbers get even worse, according to Heritage Foundation research.

By 2035, household electricity expenditures will increase between 13 to 20 percent, family of four income loss will exceed $20,000, and there will be more than 200,000 fewer manufacturing jobs due to the “policies adapted from domestic regulations emphasized in the Paris Agreement [that] will affect a variety of aspects of the American economy.”

According to the National Conference on State Legislatures, 21 states have either voluntary renewable energy standards or no standards, and 20 of those voted for Trump last November. Trump also won manufacturing states with mandatory renewable standards—states like Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Many of those voters found their voice in Trump.

Shell’s van Beurden told NPR that pulling out of the Paris Agreement would put the United States “off-site for such an important societal debate” and strongly implied that it would undermine America’s ability to “have a strong, meaningful, and impactful voice at all tables around the world.”

Of course, we have seen what happens when an American president kowtows to global elites in an effort to be heard and loved.

During his infamous apology tour, Obama told a group of foreign leaders that “with my election and the early decisions that we’ve made, that you’re starting to see some restoration of America’s standing in the world.”

He apologized to the Europeans for the “times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.”

Trump’s election was a repudiation of that approach.

The path forward for the Trump administration is clear, and it begins with following through on the president’s pledge to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.

Doing so would restore certainty for America’s job creators and make it more difficult for future administrations to abuse the global warming agreement and advance destructive policy initiatives.

Enduring policy victories are the foundation upon which legacies are built.

Commentary by Dan Holler. Dan Holler is vice president of Heritage Action for America. Originally published by The Daily Signal. The Daily Signal depends on the support of readers like you. Donate now

Germany hopes G7 summit can help convince U.S. on climate

BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany is hoping that a G7 summit in Italy this week can play a role in convincing the United States to remain in the Paris climate agreement, a senior German official said on Wednesday.

The official, briefing reporters in Berlin before the summit, said Germany planned to put climate on the agenda of the G20 summit it will host in Hamburg in early July, suggesting that might also help sway U.S. President Donald Trump.

“If the G7 can make a contribution then that is important,” the official said when asked about how other G7 countries might try to convince Trump on the climate issue.

“A lot can happen in five weeks,” the official said, pointing to the G20 summit. “(Climate) will also be on the agenda there. I think one needs to look at this as a process.”

The official said the aim was to include contentious issues like trade and climate in the G7 communique.

(Reporting by Noah Barkin; Editing by Joseph Nasr)