Pacific Leaders React To US Climate Move With Indignation

Sun, 06/04/2017 By Jamie Tahana, Sally Round
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International

Tuvalu's prime minister, Enele Sopoaga, ordered his officials to cancel any cooperation with the United States on Friday, calling the country's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate change agreement distressing and destructive.

"We must not be dissuaded by this very, very backward and backsliding, destructive decision from the United States of America," he said.

Another threatened country, the Marshall Islands, a state in free association with the United States which hosts a military base, also criticised the move. Its president, Hilda Heine, said the decision would have grave impacts, and was confusing for those who supported US leadership on the world stage.

Fiji's prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, who is chairing the next round of United Nations climate change talks in November, said the decision was deeply disappointing for people in vulnerable nations.

And China, the world's largest polluter and second-largest economy, announced its intent to fill the void left by Mr Trump.

While the departure of the United States by no means undoes the multilateral United Nations accord, it does shake it. Even before Mr Trump's decision, many countries were struggling to meet their commitments for reducing carbon emissions by 2025. Now, with the United States walking away, the rest will presumably have to pick up the slack.

But while the Pacific was united in its indignation at the United States's retreat from climate leadership, they were united in the hope that it would not spell an end for the Paris agreement. Already, the European Union, India, Australia, New Zealand and many other nations have reaffirmed their commitment to the goals set out in the agreement.


  • "And China, the world's largest polluter and second-largest economy, announced its intent to fill the void left by Mr Trump."

    What is this meant? To fill the void since when? What is the greatest impact on FSM, positive or negative?
  • Fewer Americans, more Chinese.
  • Hahaha, and then? The FSMers are waiting to get the pay off. Directly or indirectly in any way possible. lol
  • It's good that China will try to fill in the void left by US. Hopefully, with all eyes looking at her, China will commit to firm target numbers for CO2 emissions--immediately, and not wait for 13 years or so. But I doubt that it will happen. Moreover, it is hoped that China will put up at least $5 Billion similar to what the US had contributed to the Green Fund. I would also say that China should push India and Russia and other big polluters of CO2 to do the same.

    Trump administration does not want to be the policeman of the world; does not want to have the major responsibility to feed the world; does not have to take down bad actors as in regime change; does not have to sacrifice its people in order to save the world while other big polluters continue their old polluting ways. US, on its own terms, is implementing technology that reduces CO2 emissions even in much higher rate that were ever predicted in the Kyoto protocols which the US also decided not to ratify.

    Finally, any new Paris Agreement or amendments should be submitted to the US Congress for approval as is required by the US laws since it will requirement commitment of the US funds. If the Congress were to approve it as a Treaty, I am sure Trump will be okay with it.

    Lastly, from the perspective of a COFA citizen: if the US had a strong economy with its debt reduced substantially from around $20 billion to less than $10 billion (which was pre-Obama debt level); and if its economic growth reaches around 4% annually, then, the US will have a lot of extra cash in the federal budget.

    And when that happens, it'll be easier for our COFA nations to go and beg for more financial assistance; and the Congress will be able to provide. Palau's ongoing Compact situation where the US Congress cannot approve or appropriate funds to the Palau Compact means Palau money has to come from the Department of Interior's budget.

    That's not the way it's supposed to be--to treat a COFA agreement as if it were a domestic agreement. But I would bet--and it is my hope-- that as soon as funding start to come in thru the US federal coffers under the Trump's economic revitalization and expansion, then, the US Congress will have plenty funds to appropriate funds for the remaining years of the Palau Compact. Just some thoughts.
  • While them big countries spin the bottle and see who will lead the world in saving the planet, us small countries will be out of time and sooner or later our islands will be swept away.
  • This what these three huggers dont get. The US cash Cash strapped. Its nice to decry the US but kinda hypocritical when you accept money from the US.

    These guys arent giving trump a chance. Its been only what 100+something days in office and they have chose not to let him implement his economic policies. Come one he has 4 years more to go.
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