Capitalizing on Climate Unity

Kevin Rudd and Hilda Heine on Project Syndicate

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown speaks at the U.S. Climate Action Center at COP23

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown speaks at the U.S. Climate Action Center at the United Nations Climate Change Conference's 23rd Conference of the Parties (COP23) in Bonn, Germany. Several governors from the United States traveled to Bonn to reassure global leaders of American leadership on climate change. (Jay Inslee / Flickr)

ASPI President Kevin Rudd and Hilda Heine, President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, penned a joint article on the Bonn climate conference on November 18, 2017. This is an excerpt from the article, which was originally published by Project Syndicate

BONN – When Donald Trump was elected US president a year ago, some said the end of the Paris climate agreement was nigh. Yet, as the latest round of global climate talks in Bonn, Germany, has shown, the world’s political leaders are more committed to the deal than ever. This is good news, but the fact remains that countries’ commitments do not yet add up to enough to turn the tide – and our window of opportunity to act effectively on climate change is rapidly closing.

Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States – the world’s largest historical carbon dioxide emitter – from the Paris agreement dealt the accord a major blow. Many of America’s closest allies – including both of our countries, the Marshall Islands and Australia – were deeply disappointed by the move, which was shortsighted, for both America and the world.

But it is hard not to take heart from the fresh wave of global resolve Trump’s decision has unleashed, both globally and within the US itself. Almost every major US state, city, and company has now pledged to do more to ensure that their country can meet its commitments, despite the Trump administration’s opposition.

Read the full article. 

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