What Happens If the U. S. Exits the Paris Climate Accord?

GR: The probability of devastating climate change is growing. Some believe that we are nearing the point beyond which there is no return. Recent analyses show that our options for reversing climate change are fading. There is a real danger that if the U. S. withdraws from the Paris climate treaty other nations will follow our lead. Climatologists agree that if the Paris Accord breaks down, global disaster may be inescapable.

Cracks stretch across the dry bed of Lake Mendocino, a key Mendocino County reservoir, in Ukiah, California February 25, 2014. To Match CALIFORNIA-DROUGHT/ Picture taken February 25, 2014. REUTERS/Noah Berger (UNITED STATES – Tags: ENVIRONMENT DISASTER) Go to http://www.statisticbrain.com/drought-statistics/ for drought information.

WASHINGTON (AP) — “Earth is likely to reach more dangerous levels of warming even sooner if the U.S. retreats from its pledge to cut carbon dioxide pollution, scientists said. That’s because America contributes so much to rising temperatures.

“President Donald Trump, who once proclaimed global warming a Chinese hoax, said in a tweet Saturday that he would make his “final decision” this coming week on whether the United States stays in or leaves the 2015 Paris climate change accord in which nearly every nation agreed to curb its greenhouse gas emissions.

“Leaders of seven wealthy democracies, at a summit in Sicily, urged Trump to commit his administration to the agreement, but said in their closing statement that the U.S., for now, “is not in a position to join the consensus.”

“I hope they decide in the right way,” said Italy’s prime minister, Paolo Gentiloni. More downbeat was German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said the leaders’ talks were “very difficult, if not to say, very unsatisfactory.”

“In an attempt to understand what could happen to the planet if the U.S. pulls out of Paris, The Associated Press consulted with more than two dozen climate scientists and analyzed a special computer model scenario designed to calculate potential effects.

“Scientists said it would worsen an already bad problem and make it far more difficult to prevent crossing a dangerous global temperature threshold.

“Calculations suggest it could result in emissions of up to 3 billion tons of additional carbon dioxide in the air a year. When it adds up year after year, scientists said that is enough to melt ice sheets faster, raise seas higher and trigger more extreme weather.

“If we lag, the noose tightens,” said Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer, co-editor of the peer-reviewed journal Climatic Change.” –Seth Borenstein (Continue: News from The Associated Press.)

Trump’s Climate Cuts Will Add Millions of Extra Tons of CO2 to the Air

GR: Even if the next U. S. president reverses Trump’s policies, there will still be a large quantity of extra greenhouse-gas emissions. Moreover, simple reversal will not meet our commitments under the Paris treaty; we had much left to do when Obama left office. The effect of our leadership failure on emissions by other countries is hard to calculate. Will our bad example will inspire the others to excel?

President Trump’s efforts to roll back existing climate change policies will have a delayed but prolonged effect, according to a new analysis. Credit: DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images

“President Donald Trump’s planned climate change policies could lead to an extra half a billion tons of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by 2025, according to a new analysis. That is equal to the annual electricity emissions of 60 percent of U.S. homes.

“Climate Advisers, a Washington consultancy, predicts that U.S. carbon emissions, which have been falling, will begin to flatten or increase by 2020 if the Trump administration succeeds in repealing the Clean Power Plan and other Obama-era regulations.

“In other words, decisions made today will have a delayed effect—but a prolonged one.

“We found that the ‘Trump Effect’ really begins to bite into the U.S. emissions trajectory in 2025—since many of the factors influencing today’s emissions trajectory can’t be reversed quickly,” the report said.

“The analysis assumes that some regulations are more vulnerable than others to rollbacks. The Clean Power Plan to curb carbon emissions from power plants, methane rules covering the oil and gas industry and a handful of efficiency regulations are “highly vulnerable” in the consulting firm’s view, either because they’re high profile or because they haven’t been fully implemented. If these are the only rules the Trump administration is able to repeal, it would erase 332 million metric tons of carbon pollution cuts, Climate Advisers projected.

“If, however, the Trump administration succeeds also in eliminating “moderately vulnerable” rules—those controlling landfill emissions, potent refrigeration gases such as HFCs and several energy efficiency standards—another 229 million tons of projected emissions cuts would not happen, the report finds.

“Although the Obama administration policies alone were not enough to get the U.S. to its goal under the Paris climate agreement, Climate Advisers said Trump’s policies would stall or increase the nation’s decline in emissions. The U.S. pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent from 2005 levels by 2025, and it’s currently only a third of the way there.

“The Climate Advisers report is one of several recent efforts to quantify the potential climate impact of the Trump administration’s energy and environmental policies. InsideClimate News previously compiled a chart showing how the U.S. would have virtually no chance of meeting its Paris promise under Trump, based on estimates by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of the emissions cuts achievable with each of Obama’s policies.” –Marianne Lavelle (Continue:  Trump’s Climate Cuts Could Result in Half-Billion Extra Tons of CO2 in the Air | InsideClimate News.)