World may push on with Paris Climate agreement despite Trump

News posted on 13.11.2016

The Paris Climate Agreement is set to be abandoned by the United States under Donald Trump's leadership, but the rest of the world may simply push on with implementing it without American involvement.

Countries gathered at Marrakech in Morocco to work out the final details of the accord have said they want to move ahead with it, and simply sideline the US. Notably, Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has said his country will not follow Mr Trump's lead, despite the climate scepticism of some of his MPs, including his predecessor Tony Abbott.

Measures to help cut carbon emissions may focus on many areas, from renewable energy and reducing the use of fossil fuels - the latter being one of the sticking points for Mr Trump - to the design of buildings, machines, cars and aircraft.

Building design could be a key area, with Britain and other colder countries being among those that could emphasise the importance of insulation to ensure householders burn less fuel in heating their homes in the colder months. 

Such considerations may be less important in warmer countries such as Australia, but while it may be hot all year round at the 'top end' in cities such as Darwin or sub-tropical locations like Brisbane, the same is not true of cities like Melbourne or Hobart.

The Paris agreement was ratified internationally on November 4th, with the US among its signatories. This means that the legislative process to take the US out of it will not be completed for four years, which could mean it is still effective for most of the Trump presidency, should he fail to be re-elected in 2020. 

Countries around the world moved to push through the agreement in the knowledge that the Republican candidate was against the measure, pledging to re-open coal mines and cancel US financial contributions to the deal. 

Among the ways other countries could respond to Mr Trump's moves is to simply increase their own goals for carbon reduction.