I Told You So: US withdrawal from Paris climate scheme unlikely to impact emissions

LONDON (Reuters) – The withdrawal of the United States from the Paris climate pact is unlikely to have a direct impact on the expected decline in global carbon emissions, BP’s chief economist said on Tuesday.

“Nearly all the improvement in (carbon reduction) comes from the developing world, it isn’t coming from OECD or America,” Spencer Dale said during a presentation of BP’s annual Statistical Review of World Energy.

The reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in recent years has been a result of cheaper natural gas pushing out more polluting coal rather than regulations, he said.

 

(Reporting by Ron Bousso; editing by David Clarke)

 

Trump admin says it is still committed to global climate controls

TOKYO (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said on Monday the United States was committed to the environment despite President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of a 2015 global agreement to fight climate change.

Trump’s decision last week prompted criticism from allies and environmentalists alike but Perry, in Tokyo to discuss energy issues, said the United States would continue to work to cut emissions.

“The United States is not backing down from its role as a leader on cleaning up the climate,” Perry told reporters, adding he hoped that China would take this as “an opportunity to step forward and be real leader”.

China is the world’s biggest emitter of carbon emissions blamed for causing atmospheric temperatures to rise.

Perry spoke after meeting Japanese Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko, who told him that Japan was sorry the United States had decided to pull out of the Paris accord, a ministry official said. Seko was reassured the U.S. remained committed to reducing emissions, the official said.

Perry said the two nations would continue working together in decommissioning the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, wrecked by an earthquake and tsunami in 2011, which he visited on Sunday.

The two countries agreed to share information on Toshiba Corp and Perry said that issues involving the bankruptcy of Toshiba’s U.S. unit Westinghouse Electric Co should not affect their cooperation in the nuclear sector.

 

(Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick and Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Nick Macfie)

 

‘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)

 

BetterEconomy.org: ‘Paris withdrawal good start, but we want more’

WASHINGTON — Americans for a Better Economy President Donald Ferguson released the following statement Thursday:

We hope today’s announcement is a total and immediate withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations’ Paris climate agreement as a participant, funder and signatory. The U.S. must have no involvement whatsoever with this agreement, starting immediately.

Thousands of Americans for a Better Economy supporters signed our petition at BetterEconomy.org demanding total and immediate withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations’ Paris climate agreement. We hope today’s announcement by President Trump fulfills that demand made by thousands of voting conservatives.

The U.N.’s own figures show the agreement has virtually no impact on global temperatures.  it would, however, cost 400,000 Americans their jobs and send electric bills skyrocketing by between 13 and 20 percent.

In fact, the existential threat posed by U.N. climate agreements requires even further steps.

Total and immediate withdrawal from the Paris agreement is only the first step.  So long as the U.S. remains in the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, these threats to our jobs, our economy and our personal freedoms will always loom over us.

President Trump and the United States Senate must fully withdraw the U.S. from the U.N.F.C.C.

We urge President Trump submit this request for the Senate’s consideration and vote.

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Americans for a Better Economy (http://www.BetterEconomy.org) is the nation’s most effective grassroots opponent of liberal environmentalism. 

#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)