2016 Election Critical to Success of Paris Climate Agreement
The 2016 presidential election is likely to be enormously consequential to the success of the Paris climate agreement, due to be signed Friday at the United Nations, and the ability of the United States to lead the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to keep global warming to “well below” 2°C (3.6°F).
Climate Central asked more than a dozen climate and political scientists and other experts how the outcome of that election will affect the climate pact.
The consensus was clear: If a Republican administration is elected in November, the Paris agreement would be severely undermined and any efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale will be cast into doubt. If a Democratic administration is elected, the Paris agreement will remain intact.
Friday’s signing comes at a time when world leaders are nervously watching the U.S. election unfold, with the president of the UN General Assembly telling Reuters that he worries that the Paris agreement could be sabotaged by U.S. politicians who deny climate change and are opposed to the Obama administration’s emissions-cutting Clean Power Plan.
“The outcome of the U.S. presidential election is critically important for the future of the Paris Agreement,” said Henrik Selin, associate professor of international relations at the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University. “Like many Americans, political leaders and people outside the United States are scratching their heads at what is currently happening in Washington, D.C., and on the campaign trail.”