The Paris agreement, which aims to significantly reduce the risks of climate change, may be compromised if Donald Trump wins the US Presidency.
The Obama administration is one of the champions of the treaty and Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton vowed to keep fighting global warming a priority, but Republican nominee Donald Trump has never been a fan. "We're going to cancel the Paris climate agreement ... and stop all payments of the United States tax dollars to UN global warming program," Trump said.
Louise van Schaik from the Netherlands, an expert in multilateral negotiations at the Clingendael Institute said, "I see the real danger of Trump being elected as jeopardizing the enormous change in the psychology on climate change. If the U.S. were to pull out, it would be a foreign policy problem."
In September of 2014, an agreement between China and the US - two of the world's largest carbon emitters - was ratified. This deal paved the way to craft the Paris Agreement. The U.S. vowed to cut emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2025, while China agreed to cap its emissions by 2030. In November, the pact was signed, and the rest of world followed suit.
The United States also signed multiple deals with Canada to cut emissions, including the exchange of hydro power to help U.S. states get off coal, and they also targeted to methane emissions and plan to reach a goal of 50 per cent clean power by 2025. However, if Trump wins, this could mean Canada would be left 'high and dry'.
In a rare moment, China made a commentary about the possibility of the US abandoning the treaty. "If they resist this trend, I don't think they'll win the support of their people, and their country's economic and social progress will also be affected. I believe a wise political leader should take policy stances that conform with global trends," said China's top climate negotiator, Xie Zhenhua.
Environment advocates are very alarmed over a Trump presidency. "Trump's energy policies would accelerate climate change, protect corporate polluters who profit from poisoning our air and water, and block the transition to clean energy that is necessary to strengthen our economy and protect our climate and health," said Tom Steyer, an environmental advocate.