Climate Talks Start In Bonn, As World Awaits Trump's Decision On Paris Climate Agreement

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There is a lot of focus on what Trump will do regarding the Paris climate agreement. Rob Crandall/Shutterstock

As policy makers and negotiators meet in Bonn this week to discuss the landmark Paris climate agreement, the world waits for what stance the White House will take. While the United States is sending a “small delegation” to Germany this week, most people's focus will be on the expected announcement by the Trump administration on Tuesday as to how the nation will proceed with the historic agreement.

Under President Obama, the US was instrumental in forging the Paris climate agreement in December 2015, leading the global climate talks and critical in getting all 196 nations – including the historically stubborn Chinese – on board. But there is trepidation in the air at these latest rounds of talks, which are taking place from May 8-18 for those who have ratified the agreement to thrash out the details, as to what the United Sates will now do.  


During his campaign, Trump repeatedly said he would “cancel” the deal, though there is much confusion as to what he will actually do now he's in power. It has been widely reported that the White House is severely divided when it comes to the US' action with regards to the climate agreement, with the debate raging for months. 

On one side, chief strategist Steve Bannon and chief of staff Reince Priebus have been urging Trump to pull out of the agreement, while secretary of state Rex Tillerson and chief of unknown Ivanka Trump are fighting the opposite corner. Bannon argues that the deal is bad for America, stunting business and growth, while Tillerson says that pulling out of the deal will unequivocally harm the United States on the global stage.

Interestingly, the Associated Press is reporting that Ivanka Trump will be heading a review of the United States climate change policy. There have been rumors and leaks galore out of this administration as to what Trump will eventually decide, which is why the AP report should probably be taken with a cart load of salt. Whichever way he does fall, the announcement, expected to come Tuesday, will say a lot about who currently has the president's ear.

There has been much speculation as to what would happen if the US did decide to quit the Paris agreement, with many suggesting that it might spur others on to do something similar. And it seems that those fears are well founded, as an Australian Liberal MP has already indicated that if Trump were to pull out of the deal, then the Turnbull government in Australia will reconsider its position, too. It is feared that this might cause a domino effect, and bring the whole house tumbling down.


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