WASHINGTON: Donald Trump’s threat to renegotiate the global accord on climate change if elected US president caused dismay abroad today, with many experts saying it was in his interests to embrace a deal seeking to end dependence on fossil fuels.
US insistence on renegotiation could unravel a 195-nation compromise to curb greenhouse gas emissions reached in Paris in December after fraught talks between nations as different as China, the United States, small island states and OPEC members.
“The Paris Agreement is as much in the United States’ interests as any other country,” said Tony de Brum, ambassador for climate change of the Marshall Islands who, as his country’s foreign minister, helped broker the UN deal.
“Seeking to unravel it would not only threaten the US economy, damage its environment, and weaken its security, but it would do a great disservice to all of humanity,” he said.
Republican presidential contender Trump told news agency Reuters on Tuesday he was “not a big fan” of the climate accord and said that countries including China, the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases ahead of the United States, would not stick to the deal.
“I will be looking at that very, very seriously, and at a minimum I will be renegotiating those agreements, at a minimum. And at a maximum I may do something else,” the New York real estate mogul said.
Many experts believed Trump would reluctantly accept the deal, seeking to transform the world economy from fossil fuels in coming decades to slow global warming, if elected and that most nations would push ahead regardless of Washington.
Senior government officials are meeting in Bonn from May 16-26 to find ways to implement the deal, which aims to slow a rise in temperatures blamed for causing floods, more powerful storms, droughts and rising sea levels.