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After Trump Threatens to Toss out Paris Agreement, 200 Nations ask the World to make Climate Change their “Highest Political Commitment”

Between 2012 and 2014, Trump tweeted several more times with some variation on the idea that climate change is a hoax

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FILE - Liu Zhenmin, vice foreign minister of China, visits the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, March 11, 2015. VOA

Nov 18, 2016: Nearly 200 nations are calling on the world to make the “highest political commitment” to fight climate change after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump threatened to toss out the Paris Agreement.

“Our climate is warming at an alarming and unprecedented rate and we have an urgent duty to respond,” delegates meeting at a U.N. climate conference in Marrakech, Morocco, said Thursday.

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They called the move away from carbon-emitting fossil fuels and toward renewable energy sources “irreversible,” according to a statement. “It is being driven not only by governments, but by science, business, and global action of all types at all levels.”

The delegates stood up and cheered, holding their hands above their heads in a gesture of victory after the statement was read.

Representatives of different indigenous groups from various countries protest during the UN Climate Change Conference 2016 (COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco, Nov. 17, 2016. VOA
Representatives of different indigenous groups from various countries protest during the UN Climate Change Conference 2016 (COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco, Nov. 17, 2016. VOA

The Marrakech talks were aimed at setting out a timetable for carrying out the Paris climate change agreement. The deal signed in April aims to cut carbon emissions and limit the rise in global temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius over the Industrial Revolution levels of the 19th century.

But success of the deal hinges on the cooperation and contributions of some of the world’s biggest polluters and consumers of fossil fuels, including the United States.

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[bctt tweet=”Trump’s longtime insistence that global warming is a Chinese-created hoax has many world leaders worried he will carry out his threat to pull out of the Paris deal. ” username=””]

“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” Trump first tweeted in 2012.

He has also championed more gas and oil exploration, and promised to revive the moribund U.S. coal industry.

Nether Trump nor anyone from his transition team have talked publicly about global warming since his election.

But China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said in Morocco that former U.S. presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush began talks on global warming more than 30 years ago and China was not part of those early meetings. He said it is impossible the Chinese invented the concept.

FILE - Liu Zhenmin, vice foreign minister of China, visits the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, March 11, 2015. VOA
FILE – Liu Zhenmin, vice foreign minister of China, visits the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, March 11, 2015. VOA

“If you look at the history of climate change negotiations, actually it was initiated by the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] with the support of the Republicans during the Reagan and senior Bush administration during the late 1980s,” Liu said.

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Between 2012 and 2014, Trump tweeted several more times with some variation on the idea that climate change is a hoax. He often said cold weather as a reason why he doesn’t believe in the concept.

“The weather has been so cold for so long that the global warming HOAXSTERS were forced to change the name to climate change to keep $ flow!” Trump tweeted in 2014.

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FILE – Liu Zhenmin, vice foreign minister of China, visits the Foreign Ministry headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, March 11, 2015. VOA

“If you look at the history of climate change negotiations, actually it was initiated by the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] with the support of the Republicans during the Reagan and senior Bush administration during the late 1980s,” Liu said.

Between 2012 and 2014, Trump tweeted several more times with some variation on the idea that climate change is a hoax. He often said cold weather as a reason why he doesn’t believe in the concept.

“The weather has been so cold for so long that the global warming HOAXSTERS were forced to change the name to climate change to keep $ flow!” Trump tweeted in 2014.

FILE – Then Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump answers a question during the third presidential debate in Las Vegas, Oct. 19, 2016. Despite his own tweets, Trump has denied having made claims that climate change was a hoax invented by China. VOA

Trump has since denied making the claims.

During the first presidential debate with Democrat Hillary Clinton, Clinton said: “Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it’s real. I think science is real.”

To which Trump responded, “I did not, I did not. I do not say that.”

Meanwhile, U.S. government experts said Thursday that 2016 is on track to be the hottest year in recorded history, with a global temperature so far nearly 1 degree Celsius above normal.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said this October was the third-hottest October on record. (VOA)

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EU Leaders Agree Making the 28-member Bloc Carbon Neutral by 2050

EU agrees to become carbon neutral by 2050

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EU aims to become carbon neutral by 2050. Wikimedia Commons

BY VISHAL GULATI

European Union leaders meeting in Brussels have agreed to make the 28-member bloc carbon neutral by 2050.

However, coal-reliant Poland has been given time until June to fully endorse the commitment to implement the agreed EU objective.

Climate experts told IANS for the first time the EU leaders, who met in Brussels on Thursday, came out with a time-frame by agreeing to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050, thereby opening the way to start a discussion on raising the EU’s 2030 climate target as soon as possible.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who is at the UN climate change conference (COP25), said on Friday that he was encouraged by the fact that the European Union decided to move ahead with its commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050.

“This example of #ClimateAction needs to be followed worldwide,” he tweeted.

Carbon Neutral
EU’s top priority is to reduce Carbon Emissions. Pixabay

In November last year the European Commission put forward a proposal to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, a much needed long-term goal to bring the EU closer to meeting the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement goal and keeping temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Wednesday’s European Green Deal communication indicates that the European Commission will propose a new, substantially increased 2030 climate target by summer 2020.

Now that the net-zero emission goal is endorsed, the EU’s top priority is to adopt a new, increased climate target for 2030 well before next year’s UN Climate Summit, COP 26, in November.

EU leaders invited the European Commission to present a proposal for a new EU 2030 climate target in good time ahead of the UN Climate Conference.

COP26, taking place in Glasgow, is the international deadline by which all parties to the Paris Agreement must submit new and far more ambitious greenhouse gas emission reductions targets for 2030.

However, say climate experts, a couple of concessions were negotiated.

Poland has not been ready to fully commit to the implementation of the objective, but has also not blocked the collective endorsement of climate neutrality by 2050.

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Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe Director Wendel Trio told IANS: “Setting a target of net zero emissions by 2050 is a vital and necessary first step to limit the escalating climate crisis.”

“But to jump-start climate action now in line with the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal, the EU needs to increase its target for 2030, not just for 2050.” (IANS)