Saturday January 19, 2019
Home Lead Story US Way Behind...

US Way Behind The Paris Climate Agreement Pledge: Report

The state of California just passed a bill committing to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. Other announcements are expected.

0
//
Paris Agreement, CLimate, trump
Developed countries are being urged to honour Paris Agreement. Flickr

The United States will fall well short of its 2025 greenhouse gas reduction target for the betterment of the climate unless major additional steps are taken, according to a new report.

While U.S. states, cities and companies have promised to step up their efforts to fight climate change as the Trump administration pulls back, the report finds their actions will not be enough to meet the emissions reduction pledge the United States made in the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

But the report outlines steps that can get the United States “within striking distance of the Paris pledge.”

Former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg’s philanthropy is releasing the study, entitled “Fulfilling America’s Pledge,” to coincide with a major conference on global action to tackle climate change taking place in San Francisco.

Under the Paris agreement, the United States promised to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent compared to 2005 levels by 2025.

Climate,usa
The U.S. flag flies on a towboat as it passes a coal-fired power-plant on the Ohio River. VOA

U.S. emissions were down 12 percent in 2016, the latest data available.

Economic forces are helping push emissions down, the study notes, regardless of President Donald Trump’s intention to pull the United States out of the agreement and his administration’s efforts to roll back climate regulations. Coal-fired power plants are closing faster than ever, despite Trump’s support for the industry, and renewable energy continues to expand rapidly.

However, many states, cities and businesses remain committed to the Paris agreement. If this “coalition of the willing” were a country, the report says, it would be the world’s third-largest economy.

Their actions currently put U.S. emissions on track to drop by 17 percent by 2025. However, that falls far short of the Paris pledge.

 

The report lists 10 “high-impact, near-term, and readily available” strategies to accelerate progress. They include speeding up the transition from coal to renewable energy; increasing electric vehicle use; improving building efficiency; and stopping leaks of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

 

Climate
The Eiffel tower is illuminated in green with the words “Paris Agreement is Done,” to celebrate the Paris U.N. Climate Change agreement in Paris. VOA

 

These steps would bring U.S. emission reductions to 21 percent.

If that “coalition of the willing” takes bigger steps — “within realistic legal and political limits” — the report says reductions could reach 24 percent.

Also Read: Sports Betting Now Legal in USA

The Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco this week is a venue to announce new actions. The state of California just passed a bill committing to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. Other announcements are expected. (VOA)

Next Story

Kim Jong-Un And Donald Trump To Meet In late February

The White House has not confirmed the location of the next Trump-Kim summit

0
Donald Trump
President Donald Trump talks with Kim Yong Chol, left, former North Korean military intelligence chief and one of leader Kim Jong Un's closest aides, as they walk from the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, June 1, 2018. VOA

The White House has announced that a second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will be held at the end of February, at a place to be announced “at a later date.”

The announcement was made after Trump met Friday with Kim Yong Chol, North Korea’s top nuclear envoy in the Oval Office, which the White House said was to “discuss efforts to get Pyongyang to give up its nuclear program.”

Trump’s meeting with the former North Korean spymaster, who often is referred to as Kim Jong Un’s right-hand man, lasted 90 minutes.

After the meeting, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters the administration is continuing “to make progress” on this front.

“The United States is going to continue to keep pressure and sanctions on North Korea until we see full and verified denuclearization,” Sanders said, adding they have seen “good faith from the North Koreans in releasing the hostages and other moves.”

Earlier on Friday, Kim Yong Chol met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a Washington hotel. The meeting’s aim was to revive nuclear negotiations, which have been postponed for months over what U.S. officials say is Pyongyang’s refusal to meet Washington’s demand for a detailed inventory of its nuclear and missile programs.

North Korea, Summit
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo escorts Kim Yong Chol, North Korea’s lead negotiator in nuclear diplomacy with the United States, into talks at a hotel in Washington, Jan. 18, 2019. VOA

The latest announcement is being met with some skepticism by analysts about whether enough progress has been achieved in the negotiations to justify a second summit.

There is a “missing ingredient,” said Scott Snyder, senior fellow for Korea Studies at the Council for Foreign Relations. “Is there some kind of understanding behind the scenes, even at the framework level, that provides a basis or justification for going forward that simply can’t be seen based on public evidence today?”

Snyder said that from Trump’s perspective, a second summit is to be expected because the first summit generated “good ratings.” He noted, however, that in order for a second summit to be successful, “the bar will be higher.”

Denuclearization

On several occasions Trump has expressed his confidence about North Korean denuclearization.

“With North Korea, we have a very good dialogue,” the president said Jan. 6, adding that it’s “very special” and that with “anybody else but me, you’d be in war right now.”

USA, Trump, North Korea
A man looks at a TV screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and U.S. President Donald Trump shaking hands before their meeting in Singapore, in Tokyo, June 12, 2018. VOA

But critics point out that Pyongyang has not taken measurable steps toward disarmament since the first Trump-Kim historic summit in Singapore last June.

At the United Nations on Friday, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres encouraged both countries to continue talks.

Also Read: Human Rights Situation in North Korea Needs Reforms

“We believe it’s high time to make sure the negotiations between the United States and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea start again seriously and that a road map is clearly defined for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Guterres told reporters. “We won’t advocate for any anticipation of other measures before a clear negotiation is put in place, aiming at denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula with a road map.”

The White House has not confirmed the location of the next Trump-Kim summit, but American media reports have quoted sources as saying that Danang, Vietnam, is being discussed as one of the likely venues. (VOA)