jueves, 1 de junio de 2017

Our Disgraceful Exit From the Paris Accord



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President Trump at the White House on Thursday. CreditAl Drago/The New York Times
Only future generations will be able to calculate the full consequences of President Trump’s incredibly shortsighted approach to climate change, since it is they who will suffer the rising seas and crippling droughts that scientists say are inevitable unless the world brings fossil fuel emissions to heel.
But this much is clear now: Mr. Trump’s policies — the latest of which was his decision to withdraw from the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change — have dismayed America’s allies, defied the wishes of much of the American business community he pretends to help, threatened America’s competitiveness as well as job growth in crucial industries and squandered what was left of America’s claim to leadership on an issue of global importance.
The only clear winners, and we’ve looked hard to find them, are hard-core climate deniers like Scott Pruitt at the Environmental Protection Agency and the presidential adviser Stephen Bannon, and various fossil fuel interests that have found in Mr. Trump another president (George W. Bush being the last) credulous enough to swallow the bogus argument that an agreement to fight climate change will destroy or at least inhibit the economy.
Mr. Trump justified his decision by saying that the Paris agreement was a bad deal for the United States, buttressing his argument with a cornucopia of dystopian, dishonest and discredited data based on numbers from industry-friendly sources. Those numbers are nonsense, as is his argument that the agreement would force the country to make enormous economic sacrifices and cause a huge redistribution of jobs and economic resources to the rest of the world.
In truth, the agreement does not require any country to do anything; after the failure of the 1997 Kyoto Accord, the United Nations, which oversees climate change negotiations, decided that it simply did not have the authority to force a legally binding agreement. Instead, negotiators in Paris aimed for, and miraculously achieved, a voluntary agreement, under which more than 190 countries offered aspirational emissions targets, pledged their best efforts to meet them and agreed to give periodic updates on how they were doing.
Paris did not, in short, legally constrain Mr. Trump from doing the dumb things he wanted to do. Which he already has. In the last few months, and without consulting a single foreign leader, he has ordered rollbacks of every one of the policies on which President Barack Obama based his ambitious pledge to reduce America’s greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025 — most prominently, policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gases from coal-fired power plants, automobiles and oil and gas wells.
But if withdrawing from the agreement will not make Mr. Trump’s domestic policies any worse than they are, it is still a terrible decision that could have enormous consequences globally. In huge neon letters, it sends a clear message that this president knows nothing or cares little about the science underlying the stark warnings of environmental disruption. That he knows or cares little about the problems that disruption could bring, especially in poor countries. That he is unmindful that America, historically the world’s biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, has a special obligation to help the rest of the world address these issues. That he is oblivious to the further damage this will cause to his already tattered relationship with the European allies. That his malfeasance might now prompt other countries that signed the accord to withdraw from the agreement, or rethink their emissions pledges.
Perhaps most astonishing of all, a chief executive who touts himself as a shrewd businessman, and who ran on a promise of jobs for the middle class and making America great again, seems blind to the damage this will do to America’s own economic interests. The world’s gradual transition from fossil fuels has opened up a huge global market, estimated to be $6 trillion by 2030, for renewable fuels like wind and solar, for electric cars, for advanced batteries and other technologies.
America’s private sector clearly understands this opportunity, which is why, in January, 630 businesses and investors — with names like DuPont, Hewlett Packard and Pacific Gas and Electric — signed an open letter to then-President-elect Trump and Congress, calling on them to continue supporting low-carbon policies, investment in a low-carbon economy and American participation in the Paris agreement. It is also why Elon Musk, chief executive of the electric vehicle maker Tesla, was resigning from two presidential advisory councils after Mr. Trump announced the withdrawal from Paris.
Yet Mr. Trump clings to the same false narrative that congressional Republicans have been peddling for years and that Mr. Trump’s minions, like Mr. Pruitt at the E.P.A. and Ryan Zinke at the Interior Department, are peddling now (Mr. Pruitt to the coal miners, Mr. Zinke to Alaskans) — that environmental regulations are job killers, that efforts to curb carbon dioxide emissions will hurt the economy, that the way forward lies in fossil fuels, in digging still more coal and punching still more holes in the ground in the search for more oil.
As alternative realities and fake facts go, that argument is something to behold. For one thing, it fails to account for the significant economic benefits of reducing greenhouse gases, avoiding damage to human health and the environment. And it ignores extensive research showing that reducing carbon emissions can in fact drive economic growth. Partly because of investments in cleaner fuels, partly because of revolutionary improvements in efficiency standards for appliances and buildings, carbon dioxide emissions in this country actually fell nearly 12 percent in the last decade, even as the overall economy kept growing. Under Mr. Obama’s supposedly job-killing regulations, more than 11.3 million jobs were created, compared with two million-plus under Mr. Bush’s antiregulatory regime.
It’s true that the coal industry is losing jobs, largely a result of competition from cheaper natural gas, but the renewable fuels industry is going gangbusters: Employment in the solar industry, for instance, is more than 10 times what it was a decade ago, 260,000 jobs as opposed to 24,000.
Therein lies one ray of hope that the United States, whatever Mr. Trump does, will continue to do its part in controlling greenhouse gas emissions. Market forces all seem to be headed in the right direction. Technologies are improving. The business community is angry. A Gallup poll found that nearly two-thirds of Americans are worried about climate change, and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication found that almost 70 percent of Americans wanted to stay in the agreement, including half of Trump voters.
And some states are moving aggressively, including New York. On Wednesday, the State Senate in California, always a leader in environmental matters, passed a bill that seeks to put California on a path to 100 percent renewable energy by midcentury. On the same day, Exxon Mobil stockholders won a crucial vote requiring the company to start accounting for the impact of climate change policies on its business.
These messages might be lost on Mr. Trump. Hopefully, not on the world. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/01/opinion/trump-paris-climate-change-agreement.html?ref=topics&_r=0
TRADUCCION DE GOOGLE
Las Páginas de Opinión | EDITORIAL
Nuestra desgraciada salida del Acuerdo de París
Por EL EDITORIAL BOARDJUNE 1, 2017
Presidente Trump en la Casa Blanca el jueves. Crédito Drago / El New York Times
Sólo las generaciones futuras serán capaces de calcular todas las consecuencias del enfoque increíblemente corto de vista del Presidente Trump sobre el cambio climático, ya que son ellos los que sufrirán los crecientes mares y las sequías que los científicos dicen son inevitables a menos que el mundo traiga las emisiones de combustibles fósiles.
Pero esto está claro: las políticas del Sr. Trump -la última de las cuales fue su decisión de retirarse del acuerdo de París de 2015 sobre el cambio climático- han desalentado a los aliados de Estados Unidos, han desafiado los deseos de gran parte de la comunidad empresarial estadounidense que pretende ayudar, Amenazó la competitividad de Estados Unidos así como el crecimiento del empleo en industrias cruciales y despilfarró lo que quedaba de la reivindicación de los Estados Unidos al liderazgo en un asunto de importancia mundial.
Los únicos ganadores claros, y hemos buscado difícilmente encontrarlos, son negadores del clima duros como Scott Pruitt en la Agencia de Protección Ambiental y el consejero presidencial Stephen Bannon, y varios intereses de los combustibles fósiles que han encontrado en el Sr. Trump otro presidente (Siendo George W. Bush el último) lo suficientemente creíble como para tragar el argumento falso de que un acuerdo para luchar contra el cambio climático destruirá o al menos inhibirá la economía.
El Sr. Trump justificó su decisión diciendo que el acuerdo de París era un mal negocio para los Estados Unidos, reforzando su argumento con una cornucopia de datos distópicos, deshonestos y desacreditados basados ​​en números de fuentes amigables con la industria. Esos números son absurdos, como su argumento de que el acuerdo obligaría al país a hacer enormes sacrificios económicos y causaría una enorme redistribución de empleos y recursos económicos al resto del mundo.
En verdad, el acuerdo no requiere que ningún país haga nada; Después del fracaso del Acuerdo de Kioto de 1997, las Naciones Unidas, que supervisan las negociaciones sobre el cambio climático, decidieron que simplemente no tenían la autoridad para forzar un acuerdo jurídicamente vinculante. En cambio, los negociadores de París apuntaron y lograron milagrosamente un acuerdo voluntario, en virtud del cual más de 190 países ofrecieron metas de emisiones ambiciosas, se comprometieron a hacer todo lo posible para satisfacerlas y acordaron dar actualizaciones periódicas sobre su actuación.
En resumen, París no limitó legalmente al señor Trump a hacer las cosas mudas que quería hacer. Que ya tiene. En los últimos meses, y sin consultar a un único líder extranjero, ha ordenado el desmantelamiento de cada una de las políticas en las que el presidente Barack Obama basó su ambiciosa promesa de reducir las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero en un 26 por ciento por debajo de los niveles de 2005 para 2025 - sobre todo, las políticas destinadas a reducir los gases de efecto invernadero de las centrales eléctricas de carbón, los automóviles y los pozos de petróleo y gas.
Pero si retirarse del acuerdo no hará que las políticas domésticas del Sr. Trump sean peores de lo que son, sigue siendo una decisión terrible que podría tener enormes consecuencias a nivel mundial. En grandes cartas de neón, envía un claro mensaje de que este presidente no sabe nada o se preocupa poco por la ciencia que subyace a las severas advertencias de la interrupción del medio ambiente. Que conoce o se preocupa poco por los problemas que la interrupción podría traer, especialmente en los países pobres. Que no está consciente de que Estados Unidos, históricamente el mayor emisor mundial de dióxido de carbono, tiene una obligación especial de ayudar al resto del mundo a abordar estas cuestiones. Que él es ajeno al daño adicional que esto causará a su relación ya andrajoso con los aliados europeos. Que su malversación podría ahora impulsar a otros países que firmaron el acuerdo a retirarse del acuerdo, o repensar sus promesas de emisiones.
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VER LA POLÍTICA DE PRIVACIDAD DE LA MUESTRA OPT OUT O EN CONTACTO CON NOSOTROS EN CUALQUIER MOMENTO
Quizás el más asombroso de todos, un jefe ejecutivo que se viste como un hombre de negocios astuto, y que corrió en una promesa de trabajos para la clase media y hacer América grande otra vez, parece ciego al daño que esto hará a los propios intereses económicos de América. La transición gradual del mundo de los combustibles fósiles ha abierto un mercado global enorme, estimado para ser $ 6 trillón en 2030, para los combustibles renovables como el viento y solar, para los coches eléctricos, las baterías avanzadas y otras tecnologías.
El sector privado de Estados Unidos entiende claramente esta oportunidad, por lo que en enero, 630 empresas e inversionistas - con nombres como DuPont, Hewlett Packard y Pacific Gas y Electric - firmaron una carta abierta a
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