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Trump’s self-inflicted wound: A gift to the world

June 2017

Simon Ward, Head of Environment for Prova PR, comments on the US decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement

The decision by the Trump administration is not welcomed but will ultimately be viewed more as a self-inflicted wound than an assault on global climate change actions. The US is responsible for around 15% of global greenhouse gas emissions, so to have such a key player walk away seems on the face of it incredibly damaging. However, that damage will be most felt in the US and the fallout globally could be incredibly positive.

The move from the US will be good news in terms of bringing China and the EU closer together, and quicken the scaling up of sustainable technologies. In the long term this will alienate the US, therefore negating any short-term coal-led gain, with a long-term isolation away from the flow of finance towards carbon-neutral, sustainable and circular economy driven investments.

Trump’s unique polarizing ability is to get an audience to rally around a cause; one hopes that this cause will be climate change and his audience, rather than the US heartlands, will be global.

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