I am certainly glad to see Donald Trump saying that he “will rescind the Climate Action Plan (including the Clean Power Plan (CPP))”. The CPP will cost billions of dollars and millions of lost jobs, yet will have no measurable impact on climate.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy has admitted the CPP will have an insignificant climatic impact but says it is still worthwhile because it is “positioning the U.S. for leadership in an international discussion.” This would make sense if we knew a climate crisis was imminent and developing nations would follow our lead.

But we don’t know the future of climate and developing countries, the source of most of the world’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, have indicated that they will not follow us.

On July 18, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines even said about the Paris climate agreement, “You are trying to stymie (our growth) with an agreement. ... That’s stupid. I will not honor that.”

The foundation of the Paris Agreement gives an out clause for developing nations, stating, “Economic and social development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of the developing country Parties.”

Actions to significantly reduce CO2 emissions would entail cutting back on the use of coal. As coal is the least expensive source of electricity in most of the world, reducing emissions by restricting coal use would interfere with development priorities. So developing countries won’t do it. America’s sacrifice will be for nothing. It is very worrisome for us here in Canada when our primary defender is bent on crippling itself in this way.

Tom Harris

Executive Director

International Climate Science Coalition

Ottawa, Ontario


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