‘US in danger of being left behind by clean energy’

Marrakech, Nov 9 (IANS) British charity Christian Aid on Wednesday warned that any attempts by new US President Donald Trump to bury his head in the sand over climate change will harm American interests and be an act of economic self-sabotage.

The global transition to a zero carbon economy would not be held up by one man, its International Climate Lead Mohamed Adow said in a statement.

Last year’s Paris Agreement showed the world was united in its concern about climate change and its commitment to decarbonising the global economy, he said.

“The rest of the world will not risk a global climate catastrophe because of one man’s opposition,” he said.

“On a practical point, now that the Paris Agreement has come into force no country can easily withdraw for at least three years. Even if the US wanted to do so at that point it would suffer considerably, both a political and diplomatic cost as well as putting itself at the back of the pack on the benefits of clean tech,” he said.

“Although the US will certainly suffer from any obstruction of efforts to stop climate change, it also risks the lives of millions of the world’s poorest people who have done nothing to cause the problem yet are the most vulnerable to its effects,” Adow added.

Trump — a climate-change sceptic — during his campaigning has threatened to cancel the Paris deal if he comes to power. This would mean the threshold achieved for the Paris Agreement would be jeopardised as America accounts for 17 per cent of the global emissions, the biggest chunk after China.

The two-week conference, which is seen as the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP22 of action, started at this historic Morocco town on Monday, four days after the landmark Paris Climate Agreement (COP21) entered into force.