Experts react to rumours that Trump may withdraw from the Paris climate accord.
Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said:
“Today’s rumours from unnamed sources at the White House are an indication that some of President Trump’s ideology-driven advisers are trying to bounce him into withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. However, I hope that the President will be swayed instead by the rather sensible advice he is receiving from his Secretary of State, his Secretary of Defense and his Chief Economic Adviser, who have all recommended against withdrawal.
“It is also clear that many American business chiefs, as well as other world leaders, are making a strong case for continuing to participate in the Paris Agreement. A withdrawal from the Paris Agreement is likely to make it more difficult for the United States Government and companies to make trade and business deals with their counterparts in other countries where there is greater understanding of the risks of climate change and of the benefits of low-carbon economic growth.”
Prof Gabi Hegerl FRS, Professor of Climate System Science at the University of Edinburgh, said:
“We know with great confidence that human influences have caused most of the observed warming in the past decades. We know from understanding of the observed change together with climate modelling that warming will continue if we continue to add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
“We also know that to limit warming and the impacts it causes, we need to limit the total amount of carbon added to the atmosphere. This can only be done if the world economies work together. If Paris is abandoned or weakened, I fear for the future of our children. Even more, I fear for the future of children in developing countries, who have contributed little to the problem and will feel the impacts first. Where will they go?”
Prof Jonathan Bamber, Director of the Bristol Glaciology Centre at the University of Bristol, said:
“While it would be unfortunate if Trump pulled the US out of the Paris agreement, the momentum is so great and supported by so many nations that it will be no more than an unwelcome bump in the road rather than anything more serious. Individual states such as California will carry on doing what the rest of the world knows is the right thing to do on combatting climate change”.