A Scan of Critical World Developments
Dark Clouds and Green Linings
March, Donald Trump abandoned the Paris Agreement in principle by rolling back the Obama administration’s modest climate initiatives. This week, he went a step further by formally pulling the US out of the landmark deal. Hope now rests with other countries, states, and cities doubling down on climate action, and there are already some promising signs. China and India, for example, are on track to far outperform their Paris emissions reduction pledges by emitting 2-3 billion fewer tonnes of CO2 by 2030 (the equivalent of taking 40 million cars off the road). As renewable energy has kicked in, coal consumption in China has fallen for three consecutive years, and India has stated that it expects no new coal-fired power plants after 2022. The EU, long a leader in climate action, is positioning itself as a counterweight to Trump, promising to accelerate emission reductions, as are numerous US states and cities, standing in defiance of Trumpism. California’s leadership role in particular becomes ever more significant amidst federal inaction. In the years ahead, we’ll need a lot more of that, and a lot less Trump, for the daunting task of delivering climate stability to the future.