Forget Trump, NZ must up its own climate change game

23 June 2017

President Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Agreement last week does not spell the end of the climate accord by any means, but it is significant.

Unlike 2001 when the US failed to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, the global community is now far more unified on climate action. Countries like China and India are stepping up with significant leadership and the stakes today are much higher in reputational terms than they were in the 1990s. They are also higher as slow movers on climate policy fall behind in their technological and infrastructural development.

The blowback to this latest act by the US has been widespread condemnation as an abdication of moral responsibility. While far from a magic bullet for solving the climate crisis, the Paris Agreement was one piece of the larger global puzzle. Cities in the US and across the world responded by reaffirming their commitment to the agreed targets even in the face of national implementation failures. In Wellington on Tuesday climate action protesters greeted US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with protest signs calling for citizens to ‘resist’ climate policy rollbacks and get serious about emissions reductions.

Read the full article on the Newsroom website.

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