Can Trump be the grave-digger of the Paris climate deal?

Published 2016, November 15 – Author : Coline Mionnet

Can Trump become the grave-digger of the Paris climate deal?

While COP22 is being held in Marrakech, the shock of Trump’s election as the next president of the United States has left the democrats of the whole world groggy, stunned by this event that they wanted to believe unthinkable.
In these difficult times when civilizations, cultures, and religions clash brutally, it appears that the cleavage brings together and that the appeasement clive. This is the unexpected paradox born from globalization and the fears it arouses, sometimes rightly, in western societies.
However the result of the US vote must be put into perspective with Hilary Clinton having a slight advantage in terms of votes but the US electoral system allows this aberration that the elected official is the loser in terms of popular votes.
This is called the greatest democracy in the world!?
On the other hand, incomprehensible fact in France, the director of FBI threw a wheelbarrow of banana skins under the feet of the Democrats during the voting period, evoking lawsuits against H. Clinton for the affair of the emails before to withdraw a few days later.
Nothing of the sort to reinforce the republican candidate in accusations of corruption and complicism that served as the backbone of his electoral campaign.

White house Washington USA

Americans support the Paris Climate Agreements

But will the new president of the first world power really denounce this agreement to which two thirds of the citizens would adhere according to a New York Times / CBS News poll carried out early in the year?
It is true that it was before the sulphurous personality of Trump profoundly divide the population of the United States.
Another poll of the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication confirmed at the end of 2015 that 71% of Americans considered that the signing of Paris agreements was “important” and 43% “very or extremely important” with unsurprisingly a very different appreciation between Democrates (85%) and Republicans (64%).
Finally a poll published by the same YPCCC reveals that, in the 27 states where the Clean Power Plan was set up at the end of 2015, a large majority of the citizens (61%) want the gradual disappearance of coal-fired plants at the very moment when, under the pressure of a majority of governors of these states, the Supreme Court suspended in February 2016 the implementation of the plan.

Coal-fired power plant pollution CO2

Trump in contradiction with the stakes of the future

Apart from the fact that the denunciation of the Paris Agreements would call into question the credibility of the United States signature, the unrests that such a decision would undoubtedly trigger in all the social strata of the country would probably oblige Trump to renounce its unreflected promise.
In the United States many companies have projected themselves in the future with technologies related to sustainable development. In California, Texas, Colorado the race for windmills and photovoltaics but also solar thermal and electric cars is launched. It is a new economic sector that attract the financial world ready today to accompany this potentially most profitable sector since the democratization of automobile.
Indeed the cost of the solar kilowatt-hour for wind turbines and solar plants is now competing with that of coal and even nuclear one if account is taken with issues of site remediation and storage of contaminated wastes.
It is necessary to count on these new forces of the American nation to refute the questioning of the objectives that the Paris Agreements have defined and that the Americans have massively adopted. Since the development of the Internet and mobile telephony no sector has shown such creativity to invent tomorrow’s society.
All major US universities have been involved in training the best engineers in the new technologies of sustainable development be it solar cells, batteries for electric mobility, smart grids, biotechnologies or wind turbines. The stakes are enormous, the motivation is great, so it is not sure that a Trump can bring the United States 50 years back.
In addition there is an urgent need for the US to act quickly to limit the climate degradation of which they are among the first victims. Persistent drought in south-western states, increasingly frequent and devastating hurricanes in southeastern states, decreasing water resources in the central plains or sea level rising to the northeast are serious and persistent threats to all regions of the second economic power of the planet.

New York City

Violence as a mean of power

Trump led a campaign where demagogy and absurdities never reached such a level except perhaps in the Philippines where Duterte, elected with less than 40% of the vote, legalized crime and surely mean the country right to civil war.
A “mad maniac”, according to his rival to the elections, able to declare in connection with the collective rape of an Australian nun in 1989, while he was mayor of Manila:
“I saw her face and I said to myself ‘Damn what a pity! They raped her, they all waited their turn. I was angry that they had raped her but she was so beautiful. I thought “The mayor could have gone first.”
But of course the Philippines is nothing like the United States where the counter-powers are powerful and are not acquired in advance to Trump.
The next few months will give us the answer to the title question of this release. But it is to be hoped that, as Trump’s last declarations have demonstrated a willingness to appease, he sticks to a reasonable policy ultimately in line with that of his predecessors. Demagogic promises are only committed by those who believe in it, that’s well known.


Release on website

“Suprême Court suspend the Clean Power Plan”, sur le site

“Americans support the Paris Climate Agreements”, on website

“Duterte, ultra-violent president-sheriff”, on TV5 Monde (french)