Open thread for night owls: Efforts by cities & states can't meet U.S. Paris climate commitments
Alex Lenferna at Common Dreams writes—No, the US Is Not Upholding Its Paris Climate Agreement Commitments:
At the end of the Global Climate Action Summit, California Governor Jerry Brown and Michael Bloomberg pronounced that despite Trump’s intransigence the U.S. is still “upholding its commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement”. They were celebrating the fact that sub-national commitments put “the country within striking distance of the 26% reduction in greenhouse gases, by 2025, that the United States promised to hit in Paris”.
Unfortunately, though, despite some encouraging climate action at the sub-national level, the U.S. is not “upholding its commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement”, as it is failing to address the issue of international climate finance and is far from meetings its fair share of emissions reductions. Together these failures mean that the United States cannot really be said to be upholding the agreement, but sub-national actors like DC can change that.
Firstly, the Paris agreement was not just about countries reducing their domestic emissions. Centrally, it was also about rich, developed, climate polluting countries providing funding to help developing countries adapt to and mitigate climate change. For the United States, as the richest country on earth and the largest historical climate polluter, this political and moral responsibility is particularly pronounced.
When Trump pulled out of the Paris climate agreement, the administration also abandoned the US’s pledge to deliver an additional $2 billion to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) — a key funding channel serving the Paris Climate Agreement which helps developing countries adapt to climate change and pursue low-carbon and climate resilient development. Despite America having previously promised action on this front, it has been all but ignored by the U.S. sub-national climate movement.
To make matters worse, even the U.S. pledge under the Paris Climate Agreement to reduce its emissions 26-28% by 2025 is far from its fair share of emissions reductions. [...]
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On this date at Daily Kos in 2016—Trump signals he'll use White House for business gains: 'A president can't have a conflict':
Most of the time during Donald Trump’s meeting at the New York Times offices today was devoted to explaining how he, Donald Trump, was perfectly free to use the White House as profit center for his business enterprises and that nobody could stop him.
xTrump on his businesses/conflict q's: «The law's totally on my side, the president can't have a conflict of interest.»Ã¢ÂÂ Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) November 22, 2016
This is of course an iteration of the famous Nixonian theory: If the president does it, it’s not illegal. And this wasn’t a one-off supposition, it was the theme of his defense. He doesn’t have to divest himself from his businesses no matter what past precedent is. He’s perfectly free to mix presidential foreign policy calls with business deals if he wants to.
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