Climate talks in Marrakech, Morocco wrapped up yesterday with an affirmation among signatories of the landmark Paris climate agreement to commit to decarbonization of global economies.
As the world’s largest historical emitter, the U.S. had been expected to lead on transition to clean energy sources, though Trump’s commitment to the deal is thin at best. In the vacuum left by a potentially abrupt U.S. departure from its diplomatic obligations, China has signalled a willingness to take the lead on this profile. In a world of global climate consensus, this could lead to a fairly rapid decline of America’s political clout and future economic wellbeing – especially if carbon tariffs are applied to exports, as is expected. Perhaps sensing a future disparity, 300 companies have aligned with environmental advocates, petitioning the incoming administration to retain America’s leadership position. While the President-elect pledged to keep an open mind about global warming to an audience at the New York Times, his words have been about as good as sour milk over the course of the election cycle, resulting in an atmosphere of angst both at home and abroad.