At the G20 summit last week in Hamburg, Germany, President Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin announced a cease fire in Syria with an eye toward a larger, more permanent solution to the conflict. But sometimes, these global events are important both for the world and for our priorities at home. "We have to keep moving no matter what".
The G20 Summit is meant to be a show of strength for the leaders of the 20 most powerful countries in the world.
"To see states and cities in the USA and territories and regions around the globe align their ambition and plans with the aims of the Paris agreement is nearly unprecedented in the history of U.N. environmental treaties", Nick Nuttall, director of communications and outreach for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) told ThinkProgress.
The communiqué declares the Paris Agreement "irreversible", leaving it open for the USA to reverse its decision to leave. Nor, with his much vaunted economic nationalism - deemed by others to be inconsistent with the principles of free trade and therefore protectionist - was he in tune with other world leaders who are intent on boosting global trade and globalisation? This plan outlines actions the G-20 must take to combat climate change and, ultimately, implement the Paris Agreement.
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They didn't, and it won't.
Since peaking in 2007, US energy-related carbon emissions are down roughly 14 percent, while Germany, which sees itself as the world leader in climate change, had its carbon emissions fall 7 percent during the same period. The climate issue was fought over hardest at the two-day summit in Hamburg, which was overshadowed by violent clashes between police and rioters.
Light, on the other hand, points out that one sentence in the 13-page climate action plan "in terms of climatological impact, is huge". "All 19 countries other than the United States solidly recommitted themselves to the Paris agreement and all of the architecture that we've built around Paris to try to create the agreement", Light says.
"And the G20 leaders, even in their climate and energy action plan, with Trump, agreed that they called natural gas a clean fuel, which it certainly is not". Just hours after the president's announcement to withdraw, local leaders advanced.
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"Their support for the Paris Agreement is evidence that the Agreement is in fact a good deal for America".
Still, last month in an effort to fill a climate leadership void, Bloomberg, a United Nations envoy on cities and climate change, committed $200 million to support city initiatives including projects to combat global warming through a grant program called the American Cities Initiative. "But if we do not have strong families and strong values, then we will be weak and we will not survive", Lowe said, "He didn't say exactly how "strong families" would resist, for example, the threat from North Korea, which he warned about Thursday morning".
It confirms that the U.S. is committed to lowering its emissions, so long as this is compatible with economic growth.
Good for San Antonio, these steps also support the greater good. While the G20 dynamics may have been strained, world leaders have clearly moved up the learning curve on how to handle Mr. Trump since his first worldwide tour of West Asia and Europe in May, which saw rifts over the U.S.'s commitment to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, climate change and trade.
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Or, more usefully, may we realize that our deliverance lies in ourselves and whether we choose to perform at this crucial time. On the other side would be a coalition led by the United States including Japan, South Korea and the European Union.
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