Allies Furious as Trump w/draws from G7 Climate Commitment, May leave Paris Accord

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

Trump bombed at the G7 summit in Italy. Despite an “intense” discussion with Germany, France and the others, who made it clear as sunshine that they wanted the US to meet its Paris Climate obligations, Trump refused to join in the issuance of a joint statement on the issue.

The communique on climate change said,

““Understanding this process, the heads of state and of government of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United Kingdom and the presidents of the European Council and of the European Commission reaffirm their strong commitment to swiftly implement the Paris Agreement.”

The US, obviously, is missing.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is quoted as saying, “The entire discussion about climate was very difficult, if not to say very dissatisfying.”

Worse, Axios is reporting that close associates of Trump are saying that he has decided to pull out of the Paris Agreement.

This move would open the US to punitive tariffs, and possibly lawsuits, as well as boycotts (affecting tourism and investment). Worse, it will make it impossible for the world to keep global warming to 2 degrees C./ 3.6 degrees F.

Trump managed to infuriate India by blaming it for inaction on climate. Actually India just cancelled a big batch of planned coal plants and is implementing solar and wind like crazy, with carbon emissions reductions far more ambitious than those of the US.

Meanwhile, back in the real world, a citizens’ lawsuit against Exxon-Mobil for for violations at its Baytown facility just prevailed.

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Related video:

AP: After G7, Trump Views on Climate ‘Evolving’

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9 Responses

  1. A supplementary aspect of this is that Trump particularly, but US leaders generally, don’t like to be involved in activities that are not their initiative and which they can’t be seen to lead. They are not team minded. We see it all the time in the UN, and it was very apparent in the Iran Nuclear deal which was a European initiative but which was presented as an Obama achievement to the extent that Trump can talk about tearing it up. Also, of course, Syria. It’s a problem.

    Off topic but a highly readable account of Trump’s recent global peregrinations. link to spiegel.de

  2. The damage to be done when an [expletive deleted] IGNORAMUS thinks he is more knowledgeable and wiser than everybody else combined!

  3. You can learn a lot from the handshakes.
    Trump is attempting to dominate other leaders by a display of aggression and power when he shakes hands. Perhaps he expects submissive behavior but by now other leaders are ready and counter his move – a hand on the arm, a pull back, a vice like grip.
    Trump is being just as unsubtle in his public announcements on climate. The push will be met with resistance, and a united Europe can push back hard against an isolated US. Trump will find many things will not go his way.

  4. This is where we get into the curious junction between having a trade war over trade issues and having a trade war over diplomatic issues. With the former, the specter of Smoot-Hawley hovers and everyone fears retaliation causing the next Great Depression with the horrors that enabled. With the latter, the specter is what will happen in the future if they are not harsh in their retaliation.

    But obviously, you will end up facing both specters. A trade war begun to stop America’s climate extremism might crash the world economy and create the perfect conditions for all the other extremisms now groping for power. And Trump is then rewarded by not having to be the one who starts the trade war he keeps threatening; instead he poses as the victim to his followers. This gets him off the hook for having to actually come up with replacement jobs due to the collapse of imports and exports and the lack of any planning for Americans to create replacement goods in time for Christmas.

    Now watch carefully which side the global investor class takes with its money. If they take Trump’s side, as they have so far, then we probably were always doomed by climate change.

  5. This stuff is bad. But at least some of it is toothless chin music.

    Sure, the feds want to restore coal mining to its former glory. But they need miners, landowners, and mining companies to cooperate to achieve that goal. For that to happen, mining has to be profitable net of externalities (pollution). It really is marginal.

    Same for CO2 goals. Royal Dutch Shell is on record predicting peak oil. Oil prices are falling, not just because the west is squeezing Russia and Venezuela, but because demand is going down. Maybe the US vehicle industry will have a few years of freedom to make more inefficient vehicles, but they’re selling to a replacement market.

    I’m no apologist for the carbon extractors. Far from it. But I do think POTUS is playing to his base by behaving offensively at G7, and his bloviation is less effective than it sounds.

    But it definitely gets in the news, even on Informed Comment. I’m trying to say POTUS is the drunk shouting at the end of the bar. We can stop listening to him.

    • think about it in terms of billions of tons of CO2 that will be released because of government policy that would not otherwise have been released. Science and technology will win, but how many extra degrees will the temperature go up because of Trump policies and more importantly because of inaction on combating emissions?

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