Trump attacks Obama’s climate balance

International 29 March, 2017

US President Donald Trump launched on Tuesday the deconstruction of his predecessor Barack Obama’s record on climate, hammering his will to “end the war against coal” in a speech in which he did not mention once The issue of climate change.

From the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), a few hundred meters from the White House, the US President signed the “decree on energy independence” which orders a re-examination of the flagship measure Of its predecessor Democrat: the Clean Power Plan , which imposes CO 2 emissions reductions on thermal power plants .

“This will allow the EPA to focus on its core mission of protecting air and water,” the Republican president, who has repeatedly questioned the reality of global warming And the role of human activities in the latter.

This decree, a boost to fossil energies, raises serious questions about the attitude of the United States, the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases behind China, vis-à-vis the Paris agreement on The climate signed at the end of 2015 by more than 190 countries after years of tough negotiations.

Donald Trump, announcing “a new era” in the energy sector in the United States, insisted on the urgent need to eliminate many “unnecessary and destructive” environmental regulations.

“We love coal miners, fantastic people,” he said, promising to “give them back to work”. “We will produce American coal to run the American industries,” he said.

The number of jobs in this sector has increased from 88,000 in 2008 to 66,000 in 2015, according to the Ministry of Energy.

The Clean Power Plan , which aims to accelerate the energy transition, requires that thermal power plants reduce their CO 2 emissions by 32% by 2030 compared to 2005.

If it comes into force, it would result in the closure of many of the oldest and most polluting coal plants. It is, however, currently blocked by justice in about thirty states, mostly Republicans.

Important component

In marked decline, however, coal remains an important component of the US energy landscape. Hundreds of coal-fired power stations in the country provide about one-third of the country’s electricity, almost equal to natural gas and nuclear power and hydroelectricity.

Donald Trump regularly reminds his supporters of his desire to relaunch the exploitation of “magnificent clean coal”, but most experts are skeptical and doubt that the decree signed Tuesday could result in net job creation.

The new decree also removes half a dozen Obama climate-related decisions, such as the ban on new coal mining on federal lands.

The US Chamber of Commerce strongly condemned the Clean Power Plan , saying it was “not only illegal, but bad for American families and businesses.”

A return lobby

Among the Democratic leaders in Congress, Chuck Schumer denounced a text that demonstrates that the fossil energy lobby “is back in business” with the Trump administration.

“It looks like it was written by Exxon’s board of directors, without any respect for the health and safety of the Americans or for the planet,” he continued.

For Bob Ward of the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics, renouncing the Clean Power Plan would make it “virtually impossible for the United States to meet its Paris Accord goals” – a 26-28% Emissions by 2025 compared to 2005.

ExxonMobil asks Trump administration to respect climate agreements
The oil company ExxonMobil has asked the Trump administration to respect the Paris agreement on the fight against global warming that the White House considers “bad”, according to a letter communicated Tuesday by this company to AFP.

In a letter dated 22 March, Peter Trelenberg, head of environmental policy at ExxonMobil, said that the oil company, one of the largest in the world, “supports the Paris agreement as an effective framework for addressing the risks of change Climate change “.

“We believe the US is well positioned to compete under the Paris Accord with abundant low-carbon resources such as natural gas and innovative private companies including oil , Gas and petrochemicals “.

The letter is addressed to David Banks, Special Advisor to President Donald Trump for International Energy and Environment.

Mr. Trump said he was skeptical about the deal and Scott Pruitt, who was appointed head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), said it was “bad” agreement”. Discussions are currently taking place within the administration to determine whether or not the United States should withdraw.

ExxonMobil’s former CEO, Rex Tillerson, is Donald Trump’s current chief diplomat. He had spoken in favor of a carbon tax when he was running the company.

“Unlike the Kyoto agreements, the Paris agreement is the first international agreement to tackle climate change by setting emission reduction commitments on the part of developed and developing economies.

This is crucial, as developing countries, which are not members of the OECD, already account for the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions with China as their first emitter and India is about to overtake the United States As the second before the middle of the century, “says Trelenberg. AFP

It was a passionate Hillary Clinton who attacked the Trump administration on Tuesday in one of her first major speeches since she lost the presidential election in November, accusing Republican leaders From health care to the shortage of women in key government positions.

M me Clinton spoke to hundreds of women in business in San Francisco on Tuesday, launching a joke that there were no other places where it would be, “except to the White House” .

Without mentioning the president’s name Donald Trump, M me Clinton has attacked his administration repeatedly claiming that the representation of women in senior positions was “at its lowest in a generation.”

She was outraged by the widely circulated photo showing a group of Republican men discussing health care coverage for women during negotiations to reform Barack Obama’s law.

The failure of “repeal and replace” the law on health care, dubbed Obamacare, is a “victory for all Americans,” said M me Clinton applause.

Hillary Clinton has remained discreet since Donald Trump won the presidency, with the exception of a few public appearances with her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

The former secretary of state said earlier this month that she now intends to publicly express her opinion on the political issues.

On Tuesday, she urged voters to resist the policies of the Republican president.

“Resist. Insist. Persist. Commit yourself, “she said. AP