US Firms to Stand by Paris Accord

US Firms to Stand by Paris AccordUS Firms to Stand by Paris Accord

The head of the UN Environment Program said the United States is likely to live up to the Paris climate deal despite US President Donald Trump’s planned pullout, because “all the big American companies” are working toward greener operations.

The comments from UNEP Executive Director Erik Solheim came, as the UN agency presented its latest “Emissions Gap” report, which gives a scientific assessment about how national efforts are affecting the greenhouse gas emission trend, AP reported. Trump, however, has vowed to pull out the US because he insists it is unfair to the United States.

UN officials are increasingly citing the role of companies in the fight against climate change.

 “In all likelihood, the United States of America will live up to its Paris commitment, not because of the White House, but because of the private sector,” Solheim said. “All the big American companies are dedicated to go in the green direction.”

Lead author John Christensen of UNEP noted some US states like California were “acting independently of what the White House decides”. He said Trump’s bid to peel back constraints on the coal industry won’t mark a major shift because “it simply doesn’t pay off”.

He also said the US targets in the Paris accord, as agreed by the administration of former president Barack Obama, were “not that ambitious in the first place”.

But Christensen told the Geneva panel that the Trump administration’s impact on efforts could affect “negotiation dynamics” with other countries and embolden “what I call ‘noise-makers': They are the ones that are opposed to the basic idea” of fighting climate change. Bob Ward, an expert on climate change policy at the London School of Economics, agreed that the coal industry is “unlikely to be revived in the United States because it is being displaced by cleaner and cheaper sources of energy”.


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