sábado, 3 de junho de 2017

EU to bypass Trump administration after Paris climate agreement pullout / Michael Bloomberg: US states and businesses will still meet Paris targets / Acordo de Paris: renegociar o quê?

EU to bypass Trump administration after Paris climate agreement pullout

Brussels rejects Trump’s offer to renegotiate landmark deal, as global politicians, business leaders and US state governors criticise president

Daniel Boffey, Kate Connolly and Anushka Asthana
Friday 2 June 2017 13.08 BST First published on Friday 2 June 2017 08.11 BST

The European Union has rejected Donald Trump’s offer to renegotiate the Paris climate agreement and pledged instead to bypass Washington to work with US business leaders and state governors to implement the historic accord’s commitments.

Less than 24 hours after the US president announced his decision to withdraw from the 2015 agreement and strike a new, less ambitious deal with the rest of the world, Brussels declared its outright refusal to engage in such talks.

EU officials will instead cut out the White House to deal directly with the US states and major corporations, many of whom have already pledged to live by the terms forged in Paris.

In Britain, Theresa May faced criticism for not signing up to a joint declaration by Germany, France and Italy in opposition to the US move. A Downing Street source defended the prime minister, pointing out that other countries including Japan and Canada had not signed up to the letter either.

In 2015, nearly 200 countries agreed in Paris to curb greenhouse gas emissions in order to prevent the runaway climate change that would occur should temperatures spiral 2C or more above the pre-industrial era.

In a worst case scenario, the US withdrawal could add 0.3C to global temperatures by the end of the century, the UN World Meteorological Organisation said.

Donald Tusk, the president of the European council, described Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris pact as a big mistake, but said the fight against climate change would continue with or without the US.

“Strong transatlantic ties are far more important and far more durable than the latest unfortunate decisions of the new administration,” Tusk said, as he addressed a joint press conference with the Chinese prime minister, Li Keqiang, at the end of an EU-China summit in Brussels.

“China and Europe have demonstrated solidarity with future generations and responsibility for the whole planet,” Tusk added, in reference to a joint EU-China statement that vowed to “step up” efforts on global warming, including the raising of $100bn a year by 2020 to help poorer countries cut emissions.

Li pointedly told reporters that China believed in abiding by international rules. “There have been changes in the international situation and there have been rising uncertainties and destabilising factors and in such circumstances it is important for China-EU relations to become more stable”, he said.

Miguel Arias Cañete, the European commissioner for climate action, said the global agreement would not be allowed to fall at the whim of a domestic election. “The Paris agreement is fit for purpose,” the Spanish politician said, gripping a copy of the document that 195 countries have pledged to support. “The Paris agreement is here to stay. The 29 articles of this Paris agreement are not to be renegotiated. They are to be implemented. That’s what the EU will do.”

He added: “The fight against climate change cannot depend on the result of elections in one country of another. When a country signs an international agreement it has to fulfil its commitments. There will be new administrations. I’m pretty sure President Trump hasn’t read the articles of this treaty. There is nothing to renegotiate here.”

Senior EU officials said they had been pleased by the reaction of the leaders of corporate America and the federal states, with whom they would now work, in a remarkable example of Trump’s isolation on the world stage.

The US president’s decision had been met with a chorus of disapproval from blue-chip companies including Facebook, Apple, Ford and Microsoft.

A number of the governors of US states have also vowed to ignore Washington. The mayor of Pittsburgh hit back against Trump, who had told reporters on Thursday: “I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”

Bill Peduto wrote on Twitter: “Fact: Hillary Clinton received 80% of the vote in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh stands with the world and will follow Paris agreement. As the mayor of Pittsburgh, I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris agreement for our people, our economy and future.”

Jeremy Corbyn accused May of a “dereliction of duty to our country and our planet” for failing to issue a stronger condemnation of Trump, after the PM expressed disappointment on Thursday. The Labour leader told an election rally in York: “Given the chance to present a united front with our international partners, she has instead opted for silence and subservience to Donald Trump.”

The former Labour leader Ed Miliband told the BBC that May was being “weak and feeble and spineless” for not being willing to condemn the US president.

A Downing Street spokesperson said Trump had called May to discuss the decision to withdraw and said the door remained open to future US involvement in the deal.

“She [May] said the Paris agreement provides the right global framework for protecting the prosperity and security of future generations, while keeping energy affordable and secure for our citizens and businesses,” the spokesperson said. “The president made clear that the door remains open to future US involvement in the agreement.”

No other country is yet to show any sign that they intend to ape Trump’s decision to split from the pact, of which only Nicaragua and Syria stand outside. Vladimir Putin said in response to Trump’s announcement that he wanted to “refine” the agreement from within.

Germany’s powerful car industry also claimed that Europe would need to reassess its environmental standards to remain competitive after the US withdrawal.

However, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, showed no signs that her resolve was weakening on the deal, insisting that Trump “can’t and won’t stop all those of us who feel obliged to protect the planet”.

She added the move by the US was “extremely regrettable and that’s putting it very mildly”.

Merkel, speaking at a press conference in Berlin, said Germany would not sway from the goals set out in the Paris agreement. “Nothing can or will stop us,” she said. “The road – there’s no doubt about it – is stony, but I am also convinced of the fact we cannot retrace our steps.”

She said there were many other partners willing to work together and was “enthused” by the response from US companies who were supportive of the deal. “We need this Paris agreement in order to save our creation,” she said.

India, despite facing the challenge of meeting the energy needs of millions of people who do not have electricity, firmly stood by the Paris agreement. The energy minister, Piyush Goyal, said: “India’s resolve to take up the leadership of saving the planet from climate change while others abrogate their leadership.”

Michael Bloomberg: US states and businesses will still meet Paris targets

Former New York mayor, now UN cities and climate ambassador, says Trump may have withdrawn from Paris accord but American people haven’t

Michael Bloomberg says Americans don’t need Washington to met the Paris accord targets.

Press Association
Saturday 3 June 2017 05.29 BST

The United States will meet its Paris accord greenhouse gas targets despite Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has said.

A decision by President Trump to pull the US out of Parisand seek renegotiated terms “fair” to America has drawn widespread international condemnation.

But Bloomberg, currently the United Nations special envoy for cities and climate change, said work would continue to reduce emissions despite Trump’s statement.

 “The US will meet our Paris commitment and through a partnership among American cities, states, and businesses, we will seek to remain part of the Paris Agreement process,” he said.

“The American government may have pulled out of the agreement, but the American people remain committed to it – and we will meet our targets.

“Americans don’t need Washington to meet our Paris commitment and Americans are not going to let Washington stand in the way of fulfilling it.

“That’s the message mayors, governors, and business leaders all across the US have been sending.”

The Paris accord commits countries to holding global temperature rises to “well below” 2C above pre-industrial levels, which will require global emissions to be cut to net zero by the second half of the century.

Scientists have warned that a failure to curb dangerous climate change will lead to sea level rises, more intense storms and flooding, more extreme droughts, water shortages and heatwaves as well as massive loss of wildlife and reduction in crop yields, potentially sparking conflict and mass migration.

Despite the decision by the US, the second biggest polluter after China, to pull out of the deal, many analysts suggest the shift to a low-carbon economy is now unstoppable, with renewable prices tumbling and new clean technology being developed and deployed.

Trump’s decision prompted criticism from many US business leaders, including clean-tech entrepreneur and Tesla chief executive Elon Musk and Robert Iger, chief executive of the Walt Disney company, who said they had resigned from the president’s advisory council over the issue.

Announcing his decision on Thursday, Trump claimed the Paris deal allows countries such as China and India to carry on polluting at the expense of the US economy and jobs.

He said the US would stop implementing measures to meet its commitments under the agreement to cut emissions by 26-28% on 2005 levels by 2025, and end funding for poor countries to cope with climate change.

In a press conference after a summit between the EU and China, European council president Donald Tusk said the bloc was stepping up co-operation with China on climate change.

“Which means that today, China and Europe have demonstrated solidarity with future generations and responsibility for the whole planet,” Tusk said.

He said the US decision to leave the Paris agreement was a “big mistake”, bigger than its failure to ratify the previous international climate deal, the Kyoto Protocol, because the new agreement – which covers all countries – was fairer.

“But the fight against climate change, and all the research, innovation and technological progress it will bring, will continue, with or without the US,” he said.

Acordo de Paris: renegociar o quê?

Clara Barata 
2 de Junho de 2017, 20:19

Há muitas incoerências no discurso em que Donald Trump anunciou a saída dos Estados Unidos do Acordo do Clima de Paris e a ideia, aparentemente benigna, de querer “renegociar” a participação norte-americana é uma delas. Os europeus já lhe responderam que não estão abertos a reabrir a caixa de Pandora. “Não vamos renegociar um acordo menos ambicioso. De maneira nenhuma”, respondeu o Presidente francês Emmanuel Macron”, na sua mensagem vídeo de resposta a Trump. A sua mensagem “Make our planet great again” quebrou recordes no Twitter.

“Não há nenhuma base legal [que leve à renegociação]. É uma mensagem política, ponto final. Diria mesmo que é um melodrama político vazio de conteúdo”, afirmou Christiana Figueres, ex-secretária executiva da Convenção Quadro da ONU das Alterações Climáticas.

Macron expressou a posição dos europeus, que não se prestaram a colaborar no conto do vigário do renascimento do carvão de Trump, cuja visão económica parece mais digna dos grandes empresários americanos do século XIX que ficaram conhecidos como “barões ladrões”.

O Acordo de Paris vingou porque não é vinculativo, ao contrário do Protocolo de Quioto. Em Paris, os Estados concordaram em prometer metas de redução das suas emissões de dióxido de carbono, consoante as suas circunstâncias nacionais, com o objectivo de impedir que a subida da temperatura média do planeta não exceda 2 graus Celsius acima dos valores anteriores à Revolução Industrial. Acima disto, prevê-se que ocorram alterações climáticas graves e irreversíveis.

O facto de não ser vinculativo – e de não ser um tratado, não tendo quaisquer implicações com a soberania dos EUA e, por isso, não ter de passar pelo Congresso norte-americano, onde os tratados internacionais encontram sempre dificuldades – foi uma insistência da diplomacia de Barack Obama. E dificilmente os EUA conseguiriam um acordo mais favoráveis que este.

A ideia de que o Acordo de Paris custaria 2,7 milhões de empregos até 2025, propagada por Trump, foi desmentida em inúmeros media locais: baseia-se num estudo com métodos muito discutíveis, feito por uma entidade financiada por empresas ligadas à exploração de carvão – o lobby que o Pres idente mais favoreceu – e Charles Koch, um financiador de candidatos radical.

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