Study Says 1.5-Degree Temperature Limit Still Possible

Lester Mason
September 20, 2017

Following a climate change conference in Montreal, which the US was not attending in an official capacity, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete told the WSJ that "The US has stated that they will not renegotiate the Paris accord, but they will try to review the terms on which they could be engaged under this agreement".

And if the White House "decertifies" Iran's compliance, this would open the way to the US Congress reimposing sanctions and perhaps provoke Iran to itself pull out.

The rest of the world remains intrigued to see what the rhetoric of the United States delegation will be in Bonn at COP23, but as far as tackling the actual problem of human-induced climate change goes, not only has the rest of the world, without exception, chose to fulfil their commitment, but even the different Stats, cities and companies in the U.S. have chose to actually fulfil the obligations made by Obama, despite the White House and the federal government trying to reverse it. This week the USA appeared to, once again, flipflop on another major policy decision though, when Secretary of state Rex Tillerson and national security adviser HR McMaster told the press the U.S. would be open to renegotiating the Paris terms. True global leadership would see President Trump address the climate challenge head on with innovative solutions, and rejoin the Paris Agreement as the worldwide community's best shot to leave a safe climate and more prosperous world to our children.

That sounds sensible - like the opening gambit of a negotiation - but it's actually meaningless.

"It is very hard to see how we could still have a substantial Carbon dioxide emissions budget left for 1.5 °C, given we're already at 1 °C, thermal inertia means we'll catch up with some more warming even without increased radiative forcing, and any Carbon dioxide emissions reductions inevitably comes with reduced aerosol load as well, the latter reduction causing some further warming", Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany said by email. Second, each country has complete latitude to decide how it reaches those targets. From an global perspective - or even an oil-and-coal-industry perspective - it's hard to see what withdrawing from the treaty accomplished. The US is not rejoining the Paris Agreement.


NRDC's Schmidt couldn't see how the Trump administration plans on undertaking such a herculean effort, when it's not even clear what the president will do next, and all his underlings give conflicting messages. It suggests to foreign governments that there might be a deal to be had, or at least some value in engaging with the administration on climate. "We want to be productive [and] we want to be helpful". @POTUS has been clear, United States withdrawing unless we get pro-America terms.

"The climate is changing", he said, adding that if "the tragedies of the last several weeks have taught us anything, it is this: How well cities are prepared will determine their success over the years and decades to come".

French President Emmanuel Macron said before a Monday meeting with Trump that the two leaders would talk about the accord. As they argue, the Paris Agreement puts an unfair burden on coal mines, who can't meet stringent carbon emissions requirements. Many states, cities and US business leaders have committed to the Paris deal and are pledging to take action to reduce GHGs.

If those policy choices stick, whether we keep our name on Paris is irrelevant. The scientists also warned that carbon cuts need to happen sooner rather than later, starting with countries strengthening their Paris pledges in 2018. At various points, the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, Department of Transportation, and the US Trade and Development Agency were involved in the programs surrounding the final compromise.

Here's an early look at the biggest news releases issued so far.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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