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WBA slams Trump’s decision to withdraw from Paris climate accord

The World Bioenergy Association (WBA) has criticised President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement.

According to the WBA, the Paris Climate Agreement, which was agreed upon by more than 190 countries, was the single most important global treaty ever.

Last week (1 June, 2017), Trump framed his decision to pull the US from the landmark Paris climate agreement as “a reassertion of America’s sovereignty”, adding he was “elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.

The highly-negotiated agreement points to a universal effort by the countries to limit the global warming temperatures to less than 2 °C.

In a statement, the WBA said: “It is unfortunate that the country which played a major role in the climate change negotiations has become the first country to withdraw from the agreement.

“Emotions rather than facts: Unfortunately, the decision is based less on facts and scientific basis and more on emotions led by strong fossil fuel lobby. Climate change is a fact and not an opinion. The carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere has crossed 400 ppm for the first time in human history. The arctic sea ice extent is the lowest in centuries. There are increased instances of disastrous climate change impacts already visible globally. All this at a time when we are still increasing emissions and the carbon budget available is shrinking at a rapid pace.”

Disappointment

WBA president Remigijus Lapinskas added: “It is a sad day for the world that the world’s largest economy and the 2nd largest greenhouse gas emitter has decided to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement is a mainstay for the international efforts to mitigate climate change and global warming.

“We call upon the various US researchers, businesses, cities and municipalities, government representatives to not stop progress and continue in their efforts to promote the development of renewable energy and energy efficiency irrespective of the decisions of the US federal government.”

Elsewhere, US-based National Grid stated that it had joined several of the largest companies in the US to urge President Trump to keep the US in the Paris Agreement on climate change.

In a statement, National Grid said: “Though the Administration has decided to withdraw US participation, National Grid maintains that our nation’s leadership on this issue is vital to US business interests and critical to protecting our environment for future generations.”

“A clean energy transition is good for our customers and the economy, and the right thing to do,” said Dean Seavers, president of National Grid US. “That’s why National Grid remains committed to addressing climate change head on and will continue to support our customers and communities to reduce harmful emissions and better prepare our economy for the future.”

“In the states we serve, National Grid is fortunate to have strong partnerships with policymakers, regulators, and stakeholders who are steadfast in their commitment to addressing climate change,” Seavers added. “We will continue to collaborate with these partners to execute on our shared goals and will continue to make ourselves available to leaders and policymakers in Washington D.C. to strengthen our national commitment to this effort.”

In a statement, Sweden-based energy company Fortum said the US’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement will not cause “ a major setback to renewable energy investments, either in the US itself or globally”.

It added: “The costs of renewable energy, especially wind and solar power, have fallen rapidly, and in many places are already cheaper than conventional production technologies. 

“The decision by President Trump’s administration may cause increased uncertainty in some quarters when it comes to promoting measures to combat climate change. However, the decision may also serve to bring the rest of the international community closer together and strengthen the commitment of other countries to reducing emissions.”

 

This story was written by Liz Gyekye, editor of Bioenergy Insight.





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