Donald Trump’s scorched-earth approach to environmental protections has shocked current and former government officials overseas who are waiting nervously to see whether the US will destabilize the Paris climate agreement by pulling out of the deal.
The Guardian has spoken to a number of officials from key countries before Trump makes a decision on the Paris agreement this month. Trump’s announcement might come as early as this week.
“Trump’s actions on the climate are worrying,” said Izabella Teixeira, the former Brazilian environment minister. “Although it is still too early to be sure what his strategy is for the US, the signs so far of backsliding are a concern to anyone who was involved in the long process that lead up to the Paris agreement,” said the veteran negotiator, who was credited with a key role in securing the international deal in 2015.
“We certainly could not have imagined this political picture when we signed the agreement in Paris,” said Teixeira. “It is a concern because we saw a similar situation when George W Bush came to power and backed away from the Kyoto protocol”.
The US president has started peeling away many of the pollution rules imposed by Barack Obama’s administration, such as the signature Clean Power Plan, new vehicle emissions standards, clean water regulations, and curbs on toxic discharge from power plants.