Energy

Macron Admits Paris Deal Took Major Hit After Trump Left

REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

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Chris White Tech Reporter
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French President Emmanuel Macron admitted Tuesday that the Paris climate deal was badly “weakened” after the Trump administration pulled out of the non-binding agreement earlier in 2017.

President Donald Trump’s move to nix U.S. involvement left other participants scrambling for ways to financially prop up the beleaguered accord, Macron acknowledged at a climate summit in Paris. The time is now for the coalition’s members to ante up money for the deal, he added.

“What we have to do in the coming hours is very tangibly, each one of us, explain the firm commitments we’re making to change what seems to be an unavoidable destiny,” Macron urged member nations. “We are here not for words but for deeds because we are facing an ongoing emergency.”

More than 60 officials from the countries involved in the deal showed up to form coalitions to drive action in various industries – some of their responsibilities included phasing out coal and cutting emissions from shipping.

Macron’s pitch fell flat.

None of the countries volunteered to plug the $2 billion gap in the Green Climate Fund (GCF) left after Trump axed the U.S. contribution. And they were unable to hammer out a deal to raise $100 billion of annual climate finance the developed world has promised to mobilize within five years.

The U.S. promised to contribute $3 billion into the fund before Trump ended the payments – it coincides with his decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord, which required the U.S. to slash greenhouse gas emissions 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

Many industrialized nations pledged to generate $100 billion a year for the fund by 2020 to help poorer nations reduce emissions without affecting their economic outputs. The fund has only secured $10.3 billion in financing.

Former President Barack Obama dumped $1 billion into the GCF before the spigot ran dry. Trump, who campaigned during the presidential campaign on revitalizing the coal industry, planned to use the funds to “advance American-energy interests globally.”

The earliest the U.S. can begin officially withdrawing from the accord is Nov. 4, 2019, under the terms of the Paris agreement.

One participant at Tuesday’s summit worried that many projects vulnerable communities needed were at risk of folding without funds from the coalition.

“We know that public finance will not be sufficient and it needs to be used to leverage where the real money is,” Tosi Mpanu Mpanu of the Democratic Republic of Congo told reporters at Climate Home News. “But for some of us developing countries, where we don’t have a strong business environment for private investment, having clarity on levels of public finance is what gives us comfort.”

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