Published: Tue, May 09, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

UN climate talks begin amid uncertainty over US position

UN climate talks begin amid uncertainty over US position

US President Donald Trump's threats to pull America out of the climate-rescue Paris Agreement is expected to cast a long shadow over United Nations talks starting Monday to work on the nuts and bolts of the deal.

"The climate crisis is an existential threat to our planet, and the Trump and [Environmental Protection Agency head Scott] Pruitt administration are doing everything they can to destroy the environment", said Elisabeth Schuler, an activist with former Vice President Al Gore's Climate Reality Project who lives in Vienna.

The French president elect also vowed to preserve the budgets for science and energy research if elected and would reinforce that funding to "accelerate our initiative in order to deliver in live with COP21". A startlingly loud alarm clock will be rung to wake up hotel guests.

Visuals: Protestors will come with a massive alarm clock meant to symbolize the wake-up call they're sending the President and his advisors.

Though Mr Trump's inclination has been to leave the agreement, he has allowed his daughter, White House adviser Ivanka Trump, to set up an extensive review process, a senior administration official said.

At the May meeting, the Grantham Institute which is part of the London School of Economics, will unveil findings spotlighting the world-wide growth in climate or climate-related laws pre-and post-Paris 2015.

Trump, himself, who promised as a candidate to "cancel" the Paris agreement, has said he still wants out, according to administration officials.

U.S. President Donald Trump said last month on his 100th day in office that he would make a "big decision" on Paris within the next two weeks.

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But they argue that there is only one thing worse than missing the target and that is not having a target at all. Ukip's immigration spokesman John Bickley said the Tories were "completely at sea" on the issue.

The plan comes amid Tokyo's concerns that Trump may announce a US departure from the accord at a May 26-27 summit of the Group of Seven industrialized nations in Italy, the source said.

The Obama administration agreed to an economy-wide target of reducing US greenhouse gas (82% of which is carbon dioxide (CO2)) emissions by 26%-28% below its 2005 level in 2025.

In a letter addressed to all members of the G7, over 200 investors called on the world's strongest economies to make climate action a priority, citing economic concerns over how the consequences of climate change could impact their business. U.S. officials say the timeline is being driven by the Group of 7 summit, which Trump will attend late this month in Italy. "We urge all nations to stand by their commitments to the agreement".

"In Bonn this week it's important that progressive forces come together to manage any fall-out resulting from any United States retreat", said analyst Mohamed Adow of Christian Aid, which tracks climate impacts on poor countries.

"We are focused on ensuring that decisions are not taken at these meetings that would prejudice our future policy, undermine the competitiveness of United States businesses, or hamper our broader objective of advancing USA economic growth and prosperity", said the official, asked about the negotiators' brief.

"If the USA pulls out, it will be a pariah", said Andrew Light, a climate adviser at the World Resources Institute. It's likely that the Trump team will warn its G-7 partners of its decision during a "sherpa" meeting on May 15 and 16 rather than unveiling it in Sicily, where it would eclipse other issues on the group's agenda. Signatories of the letter included the California Public Employees Retirement System and other pension funds from Sweden to Australia.

There has been much speculation as to what would happen if the United States did decide to quit the Paris agreement, with many suggesting that it might spur others on to do something similar.

The agreement does not bind the US or constrain domestic regulatory moves, former climate negotiator Susan Biniaz and Daniel Bodansky, an expert in worldwide environmental agreements, argue in a memo produced for the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, a non-profit focused on fighting climate change.

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