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Trump vs Paris Agreement: Future looks bleak for UN climate accord

Trump vs Paris Agreement: Donald Trump has called global warming a hoax, pledged to pull the United States out of the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change, and promised to support the coal industry.

Now that he’s president-elect of the United States, Trump’s promises are worrying environmental advocates around the globe.

The U.S. is one of about 100 nations that make up the Paris Agreement, in which they pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. President Barack Obama, who placed a priority on environmental responsibility in the U.S. and around the world, was instrumental in helping the agreement form.

Now, America’s leadership role in the agreement is at risk – and confidence in the Paris Agreement as a whole has been shaken. Trump promised to “cancel” the Paris Agreement in May.

While withdrawal would take four years, countries that ignore their pledge are not penalized.

However, other world leaders who ratified the agreement will keep working on reducing emissions, said Aziz Mekouar, chief negotiator for Morocco at the U.N. climate talks currently underway in that country.

Trump also made other promises and statements leading up to the election that environmentalists are worried about.

He has called global warming a “hoax” despite evidence of climate change including a 6.7-inch rise in sea levels over the past century, records of rising surface temperatures on Earth since 1880, record levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, warming ocean temperatures, melting ice sheets, extreme weather, and more. Of course, no one can predict the future with 100% accuracy, so continued warming is not guaranteed by any stretch – the Trump vs Paris Agreement battle with rage regardless.

He told a North Dakota oil and gas conference in May that he planned to “save the coal industry” and cut off taxpayer support of climate change programs if elected.

Oil billionaire and animal rights opponent Forrest Lucas is reportedly on Trump’s short list for a cabinet position.

Trump’s transition team includes a number of fossil fuel industry lobbyists and global warming skeptics.

While U.S. negotiators at the United Nations meeting in Morocco have not spoken publicly about the election results, in the weeks leading up to Election Day they expressed hope that global climate change talks would continue even if the U.S. is not involved.

By Olivia Harvey, Staff Writer

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