Is this the latest trashy TV soap? No, just the day-to-day inner workings of the Trump administration.
The US administration may make a decision on its continued participation in the Paris Agreement today (though we’ve heard that a few times before). Pulling the U.S. out of Paris would be wildly out of step with what the vast majority of Americans say they want (among them, numerous mayors, governors, senators, members of congress, business leaders civil society and faith leaders). It’s easy to get lost in the craziness of the never-ending White House soap opera — Ivanka and Jared versus Steve Bannon and Scott Pruitt, and on and on.
While the White House stumbles toward some sort of action on Paris, ECO know this much already: backing away from climate action would hurt the U.S. It will damage America’s diplomatic ability to cut good deals on trade, security, and development (and this American president really likes cutting good deals, or so we’re told). It will isolate the U.S. Government and U.S. companies when competing in the ever-expanding market for clean energy. And it makes will make it much harder for allies and partners to trust whenever the U.S. makes a commitment — who’s to say they won’t back out again next time, the thinking will go.
The Paris Agreement can and will endure. No one party can wreck the Agreement. No one party can undermine the immense and overwhelming collective will that helped birth this agreement in 2015. Indeed, we all play right into Trump’s hands when we react shocked and indignant every time he does something stupid and terrible for the global environment. Instead of giving him what he wants — a bunch of headlines about how Trump defies the international community yet again — let’s show him how damaging this decision really is – both economically and politically. A race to the bottom in our efforts to address climate change benefits no one, as climate change affects everyone.
Parties need to do more, to translate the Paris Agreement’s goals into reality. The Paris Agreement is bigger than any one country and bigger than any one individual.