World leaders and major companies intent on dealing with climate change have settled on a strategy for handling President Donald Trump: snub him.
When Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency this week proposed withdrawing Obama-era rules to limit emissions of methane from oil and gas wells or pipelines, major oil companies said they wanted the rules to remain. Some of the world’s largest automakers are ignoring the administration’s attempt to do away with rising fuel efficiency mandates. And when Trump skipped a climate change session at the G-7 summit last weekend, other world leaders said they were better off without him.
“We know his position … and at the G-7 we did not have [an] objective to convince him to return,” French President Emmanuel Macron said of Trump after hosting this week’s summit.
Trump’s scorn for collective action to address global environmental consequences could have a lasting impact, freeing other leaders like Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro to pursue their own nationalist policies. But the world leaders who are still committed to addressing climate change are now looking beyond Trump’s tenure.
“They’re just trying to wait it out and hope he’s not there next year,” said Alden Meyer, the director of strategy and policy with the Union of Concerned Scientists, who has participated in international climate meetings since 1991.
The shift comes just ahead of a United Nations climate summit, where countries are expected to announce more ambitious goals to meet scientists’ increasingly urgent calls for action. Global leaders have largely given up on trying to convince Trump to abandon his pledge to ditch the Paris climate deal signed by his predecessor. [Continue reading…]