by Eric Worrall, Watts Up With That:
Guest essay by Eric Worrall
I guess we have an answer to why the kid got so much attention so quickly.
Can the rest of the world save itself from climate breakdown without the US?
With Trump expected to skip the UN climate summit, the question will be: what’s possible if the most powerful nation is pulling away from action?
As world leaders converge on New York City for the United Nations climate action Summit on 23 September, they enter what may be the most consequential week in climate politics since Donald Trump’s surprise election as president of the United States in 2016. Trump, of course, announced soon after taking office that he was withdrawing the US from the Paris agreement, the landmark treaty signed at the last big UN climate summit in 2015. António Guterres, the UN secretary general, convened this week’s summit precisely because the US and most other countries remain far from honoring their Paris pledges to reduce heat-trapping emissions enough to prevent catastrophic climate disruption.
Trump is not expected to attend this week’s summit; the US delegation will instead be led by Andrew Wheeler, a former coal company lobbyist who is now the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. In keeping with Trump’s denial of climate science and his administration’s dismantling of environmental regulations and accelerating of fossil fuel development, Wheeler testified to the US Senate last January that he would not call climate change “the greatest crisis” facing humanity.
Activist pressure has helped make the Green New Deal the de facto position of the Democratic party in the US, while also spreading the idea overseas. Each of the leading Democratic candidates in the race to replace Trump has endorsed one version or another of a Green New Deal. Bernie Sanders proposes a particularly robust program that will, he promises, “end unemployment” by creating 20m new jobs and also help developing nations dump fossil fuels in favor of renewables.
Guterres has gone out of his way to boost the visibility of the climate youth, most notably Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teenager who is the best-known face of the climate movement. Thunberg’s “School Strike For Climate”, begun a year ago in her home town of Stockholm, spread like wildfire around the world, inspiring hundreds of thousands of students to skip classes and take to the streets to demand that governments, in Thunberg’s words, “act like the house is on fire – because it is”. Guterres has invited Thunberg to keynote a special one-day youth climate summit on 21 September and also to address world leaders at the plenary session on 23 September.
Just one question – when did the USA agree to allow the Secretary General of the United Nations to start dictating policy to the President of the United States?