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Be Afraid: Trump’s Presidency Will Be an Environmental Disaster

The consequences of a Trump presidency will be felt around the world – it’s not just about the US. 

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Environment
3 min read
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It seemed like we were finally getting somewhere. Last year, when more than 190 nations agreed to address climate change in Paris, people all over the world breathed a sigh of relief.

Countries, including the most polluting nations like the US, China and India, agreed they would make major efforts to make sure that warming temperatures didn’t rise above an additional two degrees Celsius.

Of course, it was just a start. Governments were already really late on taking action on climate change. At the rate the world has been going, if we stopped all warming greenhouse gas emissions tomorrow, temperatures would continue to rise until the end of the century.

And the agreement had a lot of flaws. Many aspects of the signed documents are goals rather than firm commitments, which gives countries the wiggle room to not comply.

But that’s precisely what makes the election of Donald Trump so devastating. The Paris Climate Agreement wasn’t good enough to begin with, and now, without US support, it may fall apart.

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The consequences of a Trump presidency will be felt around the world – it’s not just about the US. 
Countries that signed the Paris Climate Agreement are currently meeting in Morocco to develop an action plan. (Photo: AP)

Many countries made it clear they wouldn’t join the Paris Agreement if the US didn’t promise to take action, since the country is the second largest polluter in the world and one of the main reasons the world is in this climate predicament.

Right now, the world is meeting again in Morocco, where they will decide how to meet the goals laid out in the Paris Agreement. Countries are expected to lay out strategies for achieving their emissions reductions and for investing in technology that will further reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels.

But Trump has already said he wants to pull the US out of the agreement. Though he can’t actually do that for the next four years, it won’t stop him from making decisions that will make it hard for the US to meet its targets in the climate accord. Like choosing to appoint climate skeptic Myron Ebell to lead the Environmental Protection Agency’s transition team.

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The consequences of a Trump presidency will be felt around the world – it’s not just about the US. 
Dozens of protestors demonstrating against the expansion of the Dakota Access Pipeline wade in cold creek waters confronting local police, as remnants of pepper spray waft over the crowd near Cannon Ball, N.D., Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016. (Photo: AP/John L. Mone)
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Trump wants to unravel an extensive plan set up by Obama to force states to develop renewable energy. He may even get rid of the Environmental Protection Agency, which was the agency that was supposed to make sure each state followed the Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

At the same time, Trump will probably green-light oil pipeline projects across the country, despite major protests from Native American Communities. He’ll also continue to exploit deadly fossil fuels like shale gas and coal.

So now America, one of the biggest polluters in the world, will probably start spewing even more carbon emissions. And we really can’t afford to keep warming. Millions of people are already suffering the consequences of a changing climate.

Trump isn’t just a problem for America. He’s a problem for the whole world.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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