Revenge of the rich

What does the election of Donald Trump mean for climate change? And what does Trump mean for our inter-connected and highly globalised world?

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Carbamates Synthetic Pyrethroids Pesticide Use Acute Toxicity Chronic Toxicity Risk Assessment Pesticide Regulation Exposure Regulation Residue Testing Food Contamination Food Safety Food Standards CSE Study Soft Drink Standards Endosulfan Case Punjab Blood Case Bottled Water Case Toxins Water Water Resources Surface Water Glaciers **Rivers (See list of location tags - rivers & others) **Lakes (See list of location tags - rivers & others) Tanks Groundwater Groundwater Recharge Groundwater Assessment Groundwater Regulation Freshwater Ecosystems Estuaries **Wetlands (See list of location tags - rivers & others) Marine Ecosystems Oceans and Seas Aquatic Plants Aquatic Animals Water Management Water Harvesting Traditional Water Harvesting Water Harvesting Techniques Water Demand River Basin River Linking Salinity Water Pollution Water Quality Drinking Water Rural Water Supply Urban Water Supply Drinking Water Standards Drinking Water Scarcity Desalination Environmental Flow Health Effects Waterborne diseases River Pollution Toilets Sewage Pollution Industrial Pollution Water Polluting Industries Industrial Waste Treatment Wastewater Recycling Water Pollution Control Public Interest Litigation (PIL) River Action Plan Lake Pollution Groundwater Pollution Marine Pollution Oil Pollution Water Salinisation **Dams (See list of location tags - rivers & others) Dam Failure Reservoirs Irrigation Sedimentation Fisheries Marine Fisheries Inland Fisheries Indian Fisheries Act 1897 Estuarine Fisheries Reservoir Fisheries Aquaculture Agri-Aqua System Fish Processing Fish Transport Fish Marketing Fishing Technology Fishing Boats Fish Poisoning Riverine Ecology Wildlife & Biodiversity Flora Fauna Antelope Aquatic Animals Bivalves Corals Crustaceans Earthworms Fish Guineaworm Hilsa Mahseer Turtles Mammals Reptiles Amphibians Birds Insects Migratory Species Extinct Species Wildlife Management Wildlife Regulations Animal Cruelty Protected Area Conservation Biosphere Reserves Eco Development Community Reserves PA Encroachments Eco-Sensitive Zone Tiger Conservation Project Tiger National Tiger Conservation Authority Tiger Reserves Wildlife Trade Hunting Tribes Wildlife And People Tourism Animal Menace Ecosystem Services Biodiversity Genetic Resources Plant Biodiversity Crop Biodiversity Fish Biodiversity Tree Biodiversity Biodiversity Conservation Biodiversity Agreements Biosafety Micro Organisms GMOs Wetland Conservation Biodiversity Regulations Biopiracy World india world Africa Climate Change Health Air Agriculture Climate Change Forests Health Water Food Agriculture Environment Mining Water Natural Disasters Urbanisation Waste Energy Wildlife & Biodiversity Economy Science & Technology Governance Forests Lifestyle Login Email Address Password Remember me     |     Forgot Password? Login Login Email Address Password Remember me     |     Login Login Email Address Password Remember me     |     Forgot Password? Login Login Email Address Password Remember me     |     Forgot Password? Login Please note you can get access to the Down To Earth digital archives only if you are a Down To Earth subscriber. If you are not yet a Down To Earth subscriber, please click here to subscribe: Subscription If you are an existing Down To Earth subscriber, please log in to download digital archives. Login Email Address Password Remember me     |     Forgot Password? Login Please Enter Email Send connect with her twitterfb SunitaNarain Director General of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and the Editor of Down To Earth magazine. She is an environmentalist who pushes for changes in policies, practices and mindsets RELATED united states of … Emission Targets Globalisation Climate Mitigation Climate Change World + Thursday 15 December 2016 Author(s): Sunita Narain Opinion | Sunita Narain Related united states of america (us) Emission Targets Globalisation Climate Mitigation Climate Change World Bookmark embed email print fb tweet Flip Pinterest whatsapp Bookmark Reddit Bookmark Message × Revenge of the rich Trump's election reflects the anger of the rich who did not get richer. This inequity is also at the core of the climate change challenge What does the ascension of Donald Trump to US presidency mean for climate change? Also, what does Trump mean for our inter-connected and by now highly globalised world? Let’s discuss climate change first. As my colleague Chandra Bhushan argues so forcefully in this issue (see ‘Why the US should quit the Paris Agreement’), firstly, Trump is not the only climate denier in the US. All Republican nominees and even Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton avoided using the “C” word during the election campaign. But there is no doubt that President-elect Trump is of another shade of this grey. He denies climate change is happening, though recently he said to CNN that “humans have some connectivity” on climate change. He is certain that the US needs to dig more coal, build more power plants and do everything to ramp up production, which will increase greenhouse gas emissions. So, he is bad news for climate change. But this is not new. As Chandra Bhushan says, the US has invariably made the multilateral world change rules; reconfigure agreements, mostly to reduce it to the lowest common denominator, all to get its participation. Then when the world has a weak, worthless and meaningless deal, it will walk out of it. All this while, its powerful civil society and media will hammer in the point that the world needs to be accommodating and pragmatic. “Our Congress will not accept” is the refrain, essentially arguing that theirs is the only democracy in the world or certainly the only one that matters. This happened in 1992, when in Rio, after much “accommodation” the agreement to combat climate change was whittled down, targets were removed and there was no agreed action. All this was done to bring the US on board. But it walked out. Then came the Kyoto Protocol, the first and only framework for action to reduce emissions. Here again, in December 1997, when climate change proponents Bill Clinton and Al Gore were in office, the agreement was reduced to nothingness—the compliance clause was removed, cheap emission reduction and loopholes were included. All to bring the US on board. Once again, they rejected it. Then came Barack Obama and his welcome commitment to climate change actions. But what did the US do? It has made the world completely rewrite the climate agreement so that the targets, instead of being based on science and contribution of each country, are now based on voluntary action. Each country is allowed to set targets, based on what they can do and by when. It has led to weak action, which will not keep the Planet’s temperature rise below 2oC, forget the guardrail of 1.5oC. This was done to please the Americans who said they would never sign a global agreement that binds them to actions or targets. Paris fatally and fundamentally erased historical responsibility of countries and reduced equity to insignificance. This was done because the US said this was the redline—nothing on equitable rights to the common atmospheric space could be acceptable. Also, the Centre of Science and Environment’s analysis of US climate change action plan in the report, Capitan America, showed that even under Obama the proposals were business as usual. This is when the world tiptoed around equitable rights, was bent out of shape and scraped the bottom of the barrel. Now the US will even walk out of this. Chandra Bhushan, then, rightly asks: is it time we thought of a world agreement without the US? Let’s now turn to what the Trump era means for globalisation. It was in the 1990s that the world stitched the global trade agreement and made rules for free, unfettered movement of goods. It wanted an interconnected world, where cheap labour could be used to enhance corporate profits. It got this. The two decades that followed saw the amazing rise of China as a provider of these goods; it also saw consumption increasing manifold. It was also in the 1990s that this same world agreed that there was a need to moderate economic globalisation so that climate change could be mitigated. This was ecological globalisation, its counter to economic globalisation. But it failed. Trade won over climate; consumption won over emission control. The success of economic globalisation showed up in the balance sheet of emissions: the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of the rich who gobbled up these goods did not decrease and the CO2 emissions of the countries who manufactured these increased. The Planet was fried. This is where we are today. We have Trump, who openly denies climate change and has won elections. A large majority stands with him. Calls for protectionism are growing in this already rich world. The UK’s Brexit vote is also a testimony to this anger. It is the revenge of the rich, who did not get richer. It is the revenge of the educated; the well-off who believe they are entitled to more and that this is being taken away from them by “others”. This is also a time when the already developed world, which has long exhausted its quota of the global atmospheric space, wants to burn more fossil fuel for its growth. It believes it is growth-deprived. The key reason for all this is the fact that globalisation increased inequity. This is at the core of the problem today. This is also the core of climate change—ultimately, if emissions are linked to economic growth, then the question is how this growth will be shared between people and between nations. Economic and ecological globalisation are about making rules that benefit people and the Planet, not in ways that some get richer or that we blow up the Planet. This is what we need to work on in the present world. But this demands a change in the narrative. For too long, the two discussions on growth and climate change have been separated. For too long, we have been told that we cannot discuss the issues of equitable growth and equitable allocation of the carbon budget. This is what needs to change. But for this, for once, let’s move beyond shadow-boxing. The election of Trump should teach us that the divisions are deep; the crisis is real. It is time to wake up. Otherwise, we will be in denial. And the climate deniers will have the last laugh. Tags United States Of America (us), Emission Targets, Globalisation, Climate Mitigation, Climate Change, World, DTE Recommends COP 22: Get in line or get out It is better for the world that the US withdraws from the Paris Agreement completely Countries will move forward on climate change even without Trump’s support: US envoy According to Pershing, the momentum and power to effect change already exists Civil society raises concern over RCEP negotiations The free trade agreement will cover a large range of issues—trade in goods, agriculture, services, investment and intellectual property IEP Resources Climate Change Indicators in the United States, 2016 Capitan America – US climate goals: a reckoning Carbon budget Climate change in the United States: benefits of global action Conversations Post Your CommentComments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. 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Donald Trump & Mike Pence, painted portrait DXO_0104_1

Donald Trump & Mike Pence, painted portrait DXO_0104_1

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What does the election of Donald Trump mean for climate change? And what does Trump mean for our inter-connected and highly globalised world?

Login | Registration   Subscribe with us View Photo Gallery View Print Archives Subscribe Download Current Issue View Print Archives CONNECT WITH US BROWSE BY TAGS Focus Tags Africa Algeria Angola Benin Botswana Burkina Faso Burundi Cameroon Cape Verde Central African Rep Chad Comoros Congo Cote D' Ivoire Djibouti Egypt Eq Guinea Eritrea Ethiopia Gabon Gambia Ghana Guinea Guinea-bissau Kenya Lesotho Liberia Libya Madagascar Malawi Mali Mauritania Mauritius Morocco Mozambique Namibia Niger Nigeria Rwanda Sao Tome Senegal Sierra Leone Somalia South Africa St Helena Sudan Swaziland Tanzania Togo Tunisia Uganda Zaire Zambia Zimbabwe Agriculture Land Land Resources Soil Resources Land Degradation Land Reclamation Land Acquisition Mining Reclamation Wasteland Development Mountain Ecosystems Mountains Arid Lands Deserts Desert Spread Desert Foods Semi-Arid Lands Drought Prone Areas Regions Brahmaputra Valley Central Highlands Deccan Plateau Eastern Coastal Plains Eastern Ghats Himalaya Eastern Plateau Indo-Gangetic Plains Islands North East Northern Indo-Ganga Plains North Eastern Ranges Thar Desert Western Coastal Plains Western Ghats Bundelkhand Crop Yield Food Stress Castor Integrated pest management -1 (IPM) Entomology Green Revolution Agricultural Research Agricultural Science Plant Diseases Plant Breeding Agricultural Systems Organic Farming Agricultural Inputs Agricultural Machines Natural Fertilisers Seeds Pesticides Pest Control Weeds Food Crops Cash Crops Plantation Crops Horticulture Floriculture Bio Fuel Crops Animal Care Animal Nutrition Animal Breeding Animal Feed Animal Diseases Animal Cruelty Livestock Apiculture Sericulture Animal Products Dairy Development Leather Industry Farm Residues Air Air Pollution Urban Air Quality Air Quality Index (AQI) Air Quality Management Air Quality Monitoring Air Pollution Control Air Quality Regulations Auto Policy Air Quality Standards Indoor Air Pollution Health Effects Acid Rain Vehicular Pollution Alternative Fuels Fuel Quality Diesel Petrol Refinery Technology Fuel Adulteration Fuel Standards Fuel Additive Vehicular Standards Vehicle Technology Advanced Vehicle Technology Vehicular Safety Fiscal Measures Inspection And Maintenance Compliance And Enforcement Fuel Efficiency Atmosphere Atmosphere Science Weather Predictions Monsoons Ozone Layer Ozone Agreement CFCs Ozone Mitigation Rainfall Climate Climate Change Climate Science Climate Economics Climate Impacts Natural Disasters Climate Agreements UNFCCC Berlin Mandate Kyoto Protocol Conference Of Parties Subsidiary Body Emission Targets Technology Transfer Measurable, Reportable and Verifiable (MRV) Quantified Emissions Limitation and Reduction Commitments (QELRQs) Copenhagen Accord Climate Mitigation Emissions Trading Carbon Sinks Climate Adaptation Climate Equity National Climate Initiatives National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) COP 21 Economy Development Rural Development Urban Development Economic Development Planning Indian Planning Finance Environment Economics Subsidies Aid Trade Debt Globalisation Services Developing Countries Infrastructure Development Poverty Backward Areas Anti-Poverty Programmes Rural Poverty Direct Cash Transfer Unemployment Industry Agro-Based Industry Textile Industry Sugar Industry Rubber Industry Auto Industry Cement Industry Chemical Industry Construction Industry Drug Industry Electronics Industry Food Process Industry Fertiliser Industry Forest-Based Industry Timber Industry Match Industry Paper And Pulp Industry Packaging Industry Paperboard Industry Plywood Industry Rayon Industry Leather Industry Mineral - Based Industry Aluminium Industry Copper Industry Glass Industry Iron And Steel Industry Lead Industry Manganese Industry Salt Industry Stone Industry Zinc Industry Paint And Dye Industry Pesticide Industry Petrochemical Industry Power Industry Hazardous Industry Multicorporations Multinational Corporations (MNCs) Public Sector Private Sector Small Scale Industry Industrial Estates Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Industrial Licensing Corporate Social Responsibility Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) Corporate Legal Accountability Energy Energy Policy Energy Surveys Rural Energy Urban Energy Household Energy Energy Efficiency Energy Technology Energy Storage Fossil Fuels Coal Peat Oil Natural Gas Oil Exploration Oil Products Fuel Quality Fuel Adulteration Aromatic PAH Octane/ Cetane Fuel Additive Fuel Pricing Natural Gas Electricity Hydroelectricity Small Hydro Power **Thermal Power Plants (See list of location tags - rivers & others) Rural Electrification Nuclear Power Nuclear Power Plants Nuclear Research Nuclear Minerals Nuclear Fuel Fast Breeders Fuel Reprocessing Heavy Water Nuclear Safety Nuclear Accidents Nuclear Wastes Radiation Fusion Nuclear Trade Atomic Energy Act, 1962 Renewable Energy Biomass Firewood Chulhas Biogas Solar Energy Wind Energy Animal Energy Battery Vehicles Hydrogen Energy Heat Pumps Fuel Cell Environment Environment Economics Environment History Ecology Environment Politics Sustainable Development Environment Management Environmental Security Global Environmental Agreements Pollution Noise Pollution Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) Environment Clearance (EC) Ecotourism Ecosystems Green Products Ecosystem Services Food Food Policy Food Prices Food Supply Nutrition Food Standards Survival Foods Organic Foods Processed Foods Food Process Industry Post Harvest Losses Food Infestation Food Technology Food Preservation Food Drying Food Aid Food Storage Contract Farming GM Crops Food Security Forests Forest Resources Forest Clearance Forest Systems Forest Management Forest Policy Forest Encroachments Forest Conservation Van Panchayats Forest Education Forest Personnel Forest Research Forest Villages Forest Fires Forest Diseases Forest Convention Intergovernmental Panel On Forests (IPF) Forest Act Deforestation Afforestation Industrial Forests Aerial Seeding Joint Forest Management (JFM) Community Forest Management (CFM) Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management And Planning Authority (CAMPA) Ecosystem Services Watershed Development Forest Products Ecosystem Services Forest Trade Forest-Based Industry Rayon Industry Match Industry Packaging Industry Paper and Pulp Industry Trees Forest Movements Governance Public Hearing Information Knowledge Advocacy Communication Media Traditional Media Press Audiovisuals Education Legislation Court Public Interest Litigation (PIL) Right To Information (RTI) Human Rights Personnel Management Public Participation Corruption Governance Parliament **Government Of India (GOI) (See list of Organisations) Community Groups Political Parties Panchayats Nagarpalikas Municipal Bodies **UN (See list of Organisations) ** International Organisation (See list of Organisations) Multilateral Development Bank (MDB) Aid Agencies ** Research Agencies (See list of Organisations) ** NGO (See list of Organisations) Trade Unions Political Parties Cooperatives Consumers Movement Farmers Movement Forest Movements Popular Movements Personalities Environmentalists Social Activists Awards War Peace Disarmament History Environment History History Of Science History Of Medicine Conflicts Politics Environment Politics Myths Health Health Care Health Education Medical Research Medical Systems Health Effects Drugs Drug Industry Antibiotics Medicinal Plants Immunisation Blood Radiotherapy Maternal Health Child Health Aged Epidemics Physiology Radiation Smoking Alcoholism Narcotics Diseases Tropical Diseases Waterborne Diseases Groundwater Quality Vector Control Vector Borne Diseases Infectious Diseases Viral Diseases Mad Cow Disease Cancer Heart Diseases Renal Failure Nutritional Diseases Non Communicable Diseases Obesity Respiratory Diseases Organ Transplant Oral Health Ear Diseases Eye Diseases Venereal Diseases Skin Diseases Mental Health Genetic Disorders Physical Disability Environmental Health Family Planning India A & N Island Andhra Pradesh Arunachal Assam Bihar Chandigarh Chhattisgarh Dadra & Nagar Haveli Daman & Diu Delhi Goa Gujarat Haryana Himachal Pradesh Jammu & Kashmir Jharkhand Karnataka Kerala Madhya Pradesh Maharashtra Manipur Meghalaya Mizoram Nagaland Orissa (Odisha) Pondicherry Punjab Rajasthan Sikkim Tamil Nadu Telangana Tripura Uttar Pradesh Uttaranchal (Uttarakhand) West Bengal Lifestyle Mining Mining Research Mining Accident Mineral-Based Industry Aluminium Industry Copper Industry Glass Industry Iron And Steel Industry Coal Industry Lead Industry Manganese Industry Salt Industry Stone Industry Zinc Industry Uranium Corporation Of India Ltd (UCIL) Minerals Mining Reclamation Deep Sea Mining Mining Regulations Natural Disasters Earthquakes Storms Cyclones Landslides Volcanic Eruptions Avalanches Floods Drought Famine Tsunami Disaster Management Science & Technology Science Life Science Physical Science Environmental Science Technology Appropriate Technology Research Scientific And Technical Development Science And Technology Policy Scientists History Of Science Philosophy Of Science Electronics Special Tags Special Packages Urbanisation Habitat Migration Displacement Urbanisation Urban Development Urban Finance Urban Planning Urban Land Urban Land Use Urban Management Housing Buildings Slums Building Materials Architecture Building Technology Construction Industry Urban Environment Green Spaces Transport Freight Transport Urban Transport Rural Transport Air Transport Road Transport Rail Transport Inland Waterways Shipping Roads Bridges Ports Mobility Planning Personal Transport Para Transit Modes Public Transport Non Motorised Vehicles Walking Parking Policy Congestion Traffic Accidents Urban Transport Institutions Vehicles Water Supply Urban Water Supply Rural Water Supply Drinking Water Drinking Water Scarcity Drinking Water Standards Water Pricing Water Privatisation Sanitation Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan (Total Sanitation Campaign) Twin Pit Toilets Open Defecation Scavengers Lowcost Toilets Urban Sanitation Rural Sanitation Sewage Drainage Solid Waste Hospital Waste Municipal / Household Waste Rag Pickers Waste Disposal Waste Conversion Waste Processing Waste To Energy Wastewater Recycling Waste Treatment People Population Artisans Headloaders Nomads Farmers Fisherfolk Minorities Tribals Tribes Tribal Medicine Forest Rights Act 2006 Naxalites Landless Workers Women Children Conflicts Displacement Traditional Knowledge Religious Beliefs Festival Waste Solid Waste Municipal / Household Waste Hospital Waste Hazardous Waste Batteries Electronic Waste Mercury Radioactive Waste Hazardous Waste Agreements Hazardous Waste Regulations Hazardous Products Industrial Waste Mining Waste Waste Management Waste Conversion Waste Disposal Rag Pickers Occupational Health Occupational Safety Occupational Accidents Industrial Disasters Toxic Wastes Nuclear Waste Pesticides Herbicide Weedicide Fungicide Insecticide Biopesticide Pesticide Type Organochlorines Organophosphates Carbamates Synthetic Pyrethroids Pesticide Use Acute Toxicity Chronic Toxicity Risk Assessment Pesticide Regulation Exposure Regulation Residue Testing Food Contamination Food Safety Food Standards CSE Study Soft Drink Standards Endosulfan Case Punjab Blood Case Bottled Water Case Toxins Water Water Resources Surface Water Glaciers **Rivers (See list of location tags - rivers & others) **Lakes (See list of location tags - rivers & others) Tanks Groundwater Groundwater Recharge Groundwater Assessment Groundwater Regulation Freshwater Ecosystems Estuaries **Wetlands (See list of location tags - rivers & others) Marine Ecosystems Oceans and Seas Aquatic Plants Aquatic Animals Water Management Water Harvesting Traditional Water Harvesting Water Harvesting Techniques Water Demand River Basin River Linking Salinity Water Pollution Water Quality Drinking Water Rural Water Supply Urban Water Supply Drinking Water Standards Drinking Water Scarcity Desalination Environmental Flow Health Effects Waterborne diseases River Pollution Toilets Sewage Pollution Industrial Pollution Water Polluting Industries Industrial Waste Treatment Wastewater Recycling Water Pollution Control Public Interest Litigation (PIL) River Action Plan Lake Pollution Groundwater Pollution Marine Pollution Oil Pollution Water Salinisation **Dams (See list of location tags - rivers & others) Dam Failure Reservoirs Irrigation Sedimentation Fisheries Marine Fisheries Inland Fisheries Indian Fisheries Act 1897 Estuarine Fisheries Reservoir Fisheries Aquaculture Agri-Aqua System Fish Processing Fish Transport Fish Marketing Fishing Technology Fishing Boats Fish Poisoning Riverine Ecology Wildlife & Biodiversity Flora Fauna Antelope Aquatic Animals Bivalves Corals Crustaceans Earthworms Fish Guineaworm Hilsa Mahseer Turtles Mammals Reptiles Amphibians Birds Insects Migratory Species Extinct Species Wildlife Management Wildlife Regulations Animal Cruelty Protected Area Conservation Biosphere Reserves Eco Development Community Reserves PA Encroachments Eco-Sensitive Zone Tiger Conservation Project Tiger National Tiger Conservation Authority Tiger Reserves Wildlife Trade Hunting Tribes Wildlife And People Tourism Animal Menace Ecosystem Services Biodiversity Genetic Resources Plant Biodiversity Crop Biodiversity Fish Biodiversity Tree Biodiversity Biodiversity Conservation Biodiversity Agreements Biosafety Micro Organisms GMOs Wetland Conservation Biodiversity Regulations Biopiracy World india world Africa Climate Change Health Air Agriculture Climate Change Forests Health Water Food Agriculture Environment Mining Water Natural Disasters Urbanisation Waste Energy Wildlife & Biodiversity Economy Science & Technology Governance Forests Lifestyle Login Email Address Password Remember me     |     Forgot Password? Login Login Email Address Password Remember me     |     Login Login Email Address Password Remember me     |     Forgot Password? Login Login Email Address Password Remember me     |     Forgot Password? Login Please note you can get access to the Down To Earth digital archives only if you are a Down To Earth subscriber. If you are not yet a Down To Earth subscriber, please click here to subscribe: Subscription If you are an existing Down To Earth subscriber, please log in to download digital archives. Login Email Address Password Remember me     |     Forgot Password? Login Please Enter Email Send connect with her twitterfb SunitaNarain Director General of Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and the Editor of Down To Earth magazine. She is an environmentalist who pushes for changes in policies, practices and mindsets RELATED united states of … Emission Targets Globalisation Climate Mitigation Climate Change World + Thursday 15 December 2016 Author(s): Sunita Narain Opinion | Sunita Narain Related united states of america (us) Emission Targets Globalisation Climate Mitigation Climate Change World Bookmark embed email print fb tweet Flip Pinterest whatsapp Bookmark Reddit Bookmark Message × Revenge of the rich Trump's election reflects the anger of the rich who did not get richer. This inequity is also at the core of the climate change challenge What does the ascension of Donald Trump to US presidency mean for climate change? Also, what does Trump mean for our inter-connected and by now highly globalised world? Let’s discuss climate change first. As my colleague Chandra Bhushan argues so forcefully in this issue (see ‘Why the US should quit the Paris Agreement’), firstly, Trump is not the only climate denier in the US. All Republican nominees and even Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton avoided using the “C” word during the election campaign. But there is no doubt that President-elect Trump is of another shade of this grey. He denies climate change is happening, though recently he said to CNN that “humans have some connectivity” on climate change. He is certain that the US needs to dig more coal, build more power plants and do everything to ramp up production, which will increase greenhouse gas emissions. So, he is bad news for climate change. But this is not new. As Chandra Bhushan says, the US has invariably made the multilateral world change rules; reconfigure agreements, mostly to reduce it to the lowest common denominator, all to get its participation. Then when the world has a weak, worthless and meaningless deal, it will walk out of it. All this while, its powerful civil society and media will hammer in the point that the world needs to be accommodating and pragmatic. “Our Congress will not accept” is the refrain, essentially arguing that theirs is the only democracy in the world or certainly the only one that matters. This happened in 1992, when in Rio, after much “accommodation” the agreement to combat climate change was whittled down, targets were removed and there was no agreed action. All this was done to bring the US on board. But it walked out. Then came the Kyoto Protocol, the first and only framework for action to reduce emissions. Here again, in December 1997, when climate change proponents Bill Clinton and Al Gore were in office, the agreement was reduced to nothingness—the compliance clause was removed, cheap emission reduction and loopholes were included. All to bring the US on board. Once again, they rejected it. Then came Barack Obama and his welcome commitment to climate change actions. But what did the US do? It has made the world completely rewrite the climate agreement so that the targets, instead of being based on science and contribution of each country, are now based on voluntary action. Each country is allowed to set targets, based on what they can do and by when. It has led to weak action, which will not keep the Planet’s temperature rise below 2oC, forget the guardrail of 1.5oC. This was done to please the Americans who said they would never sign a global agreement that binds them to actions or targets. Paris fatally and fundamentally erased historical responsibility of countries and reduced equity to insignificance. This was done because the US said this was the redline—nothing on equitable rights to the common atmospheric space could be acceptable. Also, the Centre of Science and Environment’s analysis of US climate change action plan in the report, Capitan America, showed that even under Obama the proposals were business as usual. This is when the world tiptoed around equitable rights, was bent out of shape and scraped the bottom of the barrel. Now the US will even walk out of this. Chandra Bhushan, then, rightly asks: is it time we thought of a world agreement without the US? Let’s now turn to what the Trump era means for globalisation. It was in the 1990s that the world stitched the global trade agreement and made rules for free, unfettered movement of goods. It wanted an interconnected world, where cheap labour could be used to enhance corporate profits. It got this. The two decades that followed saw the amazing rise of China as a provider of these goods; it also saw consumption increasing manifold. It was also in the 1990s that this same world agreed that there was a need to moderate economic globalisation so that climate change could be mitigated. This was ecological globalisation, its counter to economic globalisation. But it failed. Trade won over climate; consumption won over emission control. The success of economic globalisation showed up in the balance sheet of emissions: the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of the rich who gobbled up these goods did not decrease and the CO2 emissions of the countries who manufactured these increased. The Planet was fried. This is where we are today. We have Trump, who openly denies climate change and has won elections. A large majority stands with him. Calls for protectionism are growing in this already rich world. The UK’s Brexit vote is also a testimony to this anger. It is the revenge of the rich, who did not get richer. It is the revenge of the educated; the well-off who believe they are entitled to more and that this is being taken away from them by “others”. This is also a time when the already developed world, which has long exhausted its quota of the global atmospheric space, wants to burn more fossil fuel for its growth. It believes it is growth-deprived. The key reason for all this is the fact that globalisation increased inequity. This is at the core of the problem today. This is also the core of climate change—ultimately, if emissions are linked to economic growth, then the question is how this growth will be shared between people and between nations. Economic and ecological globalisation are about making rules that benefit people and the Planet, not in ways that some get richer or that we blow up the Planet. This is what we need to work on in the present world. But this demands a change in the narrative. For too long, the two discussions on growth and climate change have been separated. For too long, we have been told that we cannot discuss the issues of equitable growth and equitable allocation of the carbon budget. This is what needs to change. But for this, for once, let’s move beyond shadow-boxing. The election of Trump should teach us that the divisions are deep; the crisis is real. It is time to wake up. Otherwise, we will be in denial. And the climate deniers will have the last laugh. Tags United States Of America (us), Emission Targets, Globalisation, Climate Mitigation, Climate Change, World, DTE Recommends COP 22: Get in line or get out It is better for the world that the US withdraws from the Paris Agreement completely Countries will move forward on climate change even without Trump’s support: US envoy According to Pershing, the momentum and power to effect change already exists Civil society raises concern over RCEP negotiations The free trade agreement will cover a large range of issues—trade in goods, agriculture, services, investment and intellectual property IEP Resources Climate Change Indicators in the United States, 2016 Capitan America – US climate goals: a reckoning Carbon budget Climate change in the United States: benefits of global action Conversations Post Your CommentComments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. 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Donald Trump & Mike Pence, painted portrait DXO_0104_1

Donald Trump & Mike Pence, painted portrait DXO_0104_1

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