MARRAKECH, Morocco (NEWS 1130) – Climate talks are under way in Morocco, as delegates from around the world try to figure out how to reduce our planet warming, possibly without US help.
This comes following Donald Trump’s election win — the real estate mogul famously claimed during the campaign that climate change was a hoax created by the Chinese.
The mood at those meetings in Marrakech is one of defiance, says Simon Donner, an associate professor of geography at UBC who specializes in climate research.
“The [Paris] Agreement was in a way designed to be Congress-proof, and now there’s a real push here in Marrakech to put the plan in place in a way that makes it really Trump-proof, so that there’s agreement from other countries that they’re going to take action regardless of what happens in the United States,” says Donner.
He’s at the meetings as an official UN observer and spoke to NEWS 1130 from the north African country.
Donner describes Donald Trump’s election win as “bad news” for tackling this issue but says this moment represents an opportunity for the rest of the world to come together and not wait for the US to lead.
“Ironically we might end up confirming the concern of many Trump supporters that Americans are sort of losing to the rest of the world,” says Donner. “Because it may be that the world can tackle a lot of this problem without US leadership.”
Another interesting sidebar — Donner suggests Trump could face opposition to his plan to end renewable energy subsidies, given many of the states to benefit are controlled by Republicans.