Climate experts reflect on Trump victory


By Sarah Kimani

November 09, 2016

Also published by South African Broadcasting Corporation

African climate experts meeting in Morocco say they are confident the United States will honour obligations and pledges made under the Paris Climate deal, despite Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump’s win.  US Climate experts however, expressed their disappointment at Trump’s decisive victory.

President –elect Trump, has expressed doubts about global warming, describing it as hoax perpetrated by China and warned that he would cancel the climate deal if elected.

Among US Climate experts, shock and disappointment followed the news of Donald Trump’s triumph at the just concluded US elections.

Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists says, “I was somewhat surprised, because of the direction the polls were taking, this is a year like no other in American politics.”

Katherine Egland who is an observer at the climate change talks, “It is very disappointing….”

African experts however say, they expect the US to continue with its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as contribute to a fund meant to help developing countries deal with the effects of climate change.

Under the Paris accord, President Barack Obama’s administration, pledged to reduce U.S greenhouse gas emissions by 26 – 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2025. US Climate experts gathered in Morocco vowed to soldier on.

Mariana Panuncio -  senior director, International Climate Cooperation, WWf says, “Given the progress that we have seen, we are confident that the nations of the world gathered here in Morroco will keep focusing  on the work ahead. “

US Climate expert Alden Meyer warned that both Trump and his political party have a responsibility to accept that the globe is warming and that the effects can be felt right at the country’s doorstep.

Meyer adds, “It is clear that Donald Trump is about to be one of the most powerful people when he is inaugurated in 90 days, but even he does not have the power to amend the law and power of physics, he has to accept to the reality of climate change , he has the repsonsibility as the president elect to protect the people from the economic health and security threat of climate change.”

On previous comments that he would “withdraw” from the Paris agreement and cut US contributions to the United Nations, the US Climate experts say the agreement has huge economic benefits not just for the US but the globe.

Meyer says, “One way for President Trump to deliver on the million of jobs he promised the American people is embracing the renewable energy space.”

A partnership between China and the US, the world’s top polluters, has been credited for the adoption of the Paris deal. Lee Shuo a Chinese climate expert warned the US that there is no turning back.

“The U.S President needs to be mindful on this issue ……potential political consequences of it.”

Africa and the rest of the developing world is betting on Paris agreement to help shore up funds – at least $100 Billion a year by 2020 – to help them deal with the effects of climate change.