What was the Paris climate agreement — and what else do you need to know about climate politics?


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It’s official — on June 1, President Trump announced that “the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord,” but suggested that he would be open to new negotiations that are “fair” to the United States.

Here at the Monkey Cage, we’ve provided in-depth analysis over the years on the Paris accord, climate change, energy security and environmental developments. For a full listing of these posts, see below.

In our June 1 post, Joshua Busby at the University of Texas answers the big questions: What does this mean, and what’s next? He writes, “Under the normal rules of the agreement, the United States cannot withdraw until November 2020,” but “there is a nuclear option.”

Jessica F. Green, an New York University professor and frequent contributor on environmental policy topics, explains why the Trump decision would not roll back the considerable U.S. progress on environmental protection. She notes, “States, cities and many companies in the United States realize that sensible climate policy is, well, sensible.” With U.S. companies pursuing green options and U.S. utilities phasing out coal-powered plants, she points out that the U.S. government does not control — or make — many of these decisions.

ttp://www.washingtonpost.com/video/business/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-paris-agreement-on-climate-change/2016/09/30/b3d0a8c6-8747-11e6-b57d-dd49277af02f_video.html

Monkey Cage contributors have also looked closely at the Paris accord itself. Was there too much flexibility in the wording? What made the Paris accord different from other climate change negotiations? More broadly, what happens to global security if the effects of climate change force millions to migrate? And what are the nuts and bolts of energy politics, aviation emissions  and U.S. energy conservation programs? We invite you to keep reading.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/06/03/what-was-the-paris-climate-agreement-and-what-else-do-you-need-to-know-about-climate-politics/

Ivanka Trump’s Worst Week in Washington


Ivanka Trump has long been cast as the one person that her father — aka the President of the United States — really, truly listens to.

So, when she formally joined the White House earlier this year, many people who were deeply concerned about the direction Donald Trump would take the country viewed it as a a major step in the right direction.
But, through the first 134 days of Donald Trump’s presidency, Ivanka has been far more talk than action. And her inability to deliver results came to a head this week as Ivanka failed to convince her father to keep the US in the Paris climate accord.
“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh — not Paris,” Trump thundered in his Rose Garden speech announcing that the US would join Nicaragua and Syria as the only three countries who are not part of the Paris accords.
It was a statement — and a sentiment — right out of the mind of Steve Bannon, chief strategist in the Trump White House and someone with whom Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump’s husband, has repeatedly clashed over the first four-plus months of the administration.
Bannon represents a hard-charging, nationalist, populist, anti-establishment view of politics. Ivanka and her husband — “Javanka” for short — are far more liberal and moderate-minded.
Bannon’s views won out on this issue, due in no small part to the fact that Trump promised to get out of Paris during the campaign and felt compelled to make good on that pledge to appease his political base.
For Ivanka, this week serves as a blunt reminder that, despite her considerable influence with her father, she has yet to affect major changes — or even minor ones — in his views since coming to the White House.
On virtually every issue — trade, immigration, healthcare and now climate — Trump has sided with his political base rather than his daughter and her husband. Whether “Javanka” want to admit it or not, that’s embarrassing given the role in the White House
they quite clearly envisioned for themselves.
Publicly, Ivanka’s serenity is unbothered. This comes from a terrific story in Politico:
“Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, have taken the defeat in stride, according to two people familiar with their thinking on the issue. Their view of their roles in the
White House is that they’re playing the long game, helping the President to be successful. And they don’t tally their own influence day by day or bill by bill.”
Riiiiiiiight. Relatedly, I am playing the “long game” on making it to the NBA.
None of this means that Ivanka — or Jared — is going anywhere anytime soon. They aren’t. And, if they do, it will be their choice, not because President Trump pushes them out.
But, what this week disproved — or at least poked holes in — is the notion that Ivanka Trump can get her father to do what she wants when she really sets her mind to it.
Ivanka, for realizing that no one rules Donald Trump but Donald Trump, you had the Worst Week in Washington. Congrats, or something.

World media look to green future without US


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Frustration with the US is flowing freely in global media following President Donald Trump’s announcement that his country would withdraw from the Paris climate agreement signed in 2015 by 195 countries.

European newspapers see an opportunity to move forward without the burden of appeasing a reluctant partner in Washington.

And in China, state-run media see their country ascending to a position of global leadership on the issue of climate change.

The announcement also triggered a global conversation on social media, with climate-related hashtags trending worldwide.

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Europe

Newspapers on the continent generally expressed disappointment at the decision, but saw in it an opportunity for Europe to forge a new path.

French centre-left daily Le Monde said that the decision had “widened the gap of mistrust” and noted that Mr Trump’s mantra of “America First” seems to be leading the country to ever greater isolation.

Similarly, the French financial newspaper Les Echos says America is now part of a “trio of marginalised” nations, along with Syria and Nicaragua, who are not part of the deal. It adds that the move has not “signed the death warrant” of the agreement.

France’s left-wing Libération newspaper took a more personal view of the Mr Trump, saying: “Since his accession to the White House, the US president has believed he is on a reality show. Except for the fact that this is no longer a game, it is about the future of the planet.”

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A commentary in Germany’s centre-right Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung sees a certain “cold logic” in Mr Trump’s move, in that he appears to prefer to deal with migration with “walls and weapons” rather than action to limit global warming.

“[The US] is reducing its financial contribution to global climate protection while boosting funding for the military and homeland security,” writes its Washington correspondent, Winand von Petersdorff.

Trump ‘shakes global community’

Germany’s conservative Die Welt sees something positive in Trump’s decision, saying it will actually be good for the Paris agreement to lose countries who do not believe in it.

“Those whose take part half-heartedly or even dishonestly are likely to undermine its agenda from the inside,” says a commentary by the paper’s science editor, Norbert Lossau.

A presenter on Russia’s state-controlled Channel One TV said that Mr Trump has “shaken the global community once again”.

And state-owned newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta was more sympathetic to Mr Trump than most, saying he had “stood up against Americans paying for the USA’s ‘climatic leadership’, getting nothing in return, except for sweet-voiced chants of European politicians”.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-40130447

France ‘corrects’ White House video on Paris accord


Foreign ministry releases edited version of White House video that said Paris climate deal was bad for American jobs.

A day after Donald Trump decided to pull the United States out of the Paris climate deal, the French government has cheekily hit back by releasing a pointed fact-check of the US president’s claims about the landmark agreement.

France’s finance ministry posted a tweet with an embedded link to a video that amounted to a wry but very public rebuttal of Trump’s assertions.

On Thursday, the White House had tweeted, “The Paris Accord is a bad deal for Americans,” and linked to a video which said the agreement “undermines” US competitiveness and jobs, was “badly negotiated” by former president Barack Obama and “accomplishes little.”

In its surprise response on Friday, France’s foreign ministry tweeted, “We’ve seen the @WhiteHouse video about the #ParisAccord. We disagree – so we’ve changed it.”

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/06/france-corrects-white-house-video-paris-accord-170603092451327.html