Since Trump`s announcement, U.S. envoys – as well as on behalf – have continued to participate in U.N. climate negotiations to shore up the details of the agreement. Meanwhile, thousands of heads of state and government have intervened across the country to fill the void created by the lack of federal climate leadership, reflecting the will of the vast majority of Americans who support the Paris agreement. City and state officials, business leaders, universities and individuals included a base amount to participate in initiatives such as America`s Pledge, the United States Climate Alliance, We Are Still In and the American Cities Climate Challenge. Complementary and sometimes overlapping movements aim to deepen and accelerate efforts to combat climate change at the local, regional and national levels. Each of these efforts focuses on the willingness of the United States to work toward the goals of the Paris Agreement, despite Trump`s attempts to lead the country in the opposite direction. Indeed, research shows that the cost of climate activity far outweighs the cost of reducing carbon pollution. A recent study suggests that if the United States does not meet its climate targets in Paris, it could cost the economy up to $6 trillion in the coming decades. A lack of compliance with the NPNs currently foreseen in the agreement could reduce global GDP by more than 25% by the end of the century. Meanwhile, another study estimates that achieving – or even exceeding – the Paris targets by investing in infrastructure in clean energy and energy efficiency could have great benefits globally – about $19 trillion. Finally, instead of giving China and India a passport to pollution, as Trump asserts, the pact is the first time these two major developing countries have agreed on concrete and ambitious climate commitments.
The two countries, which are already poised to be world leaders in renewable energy, have made considerable progress in achieving their Paris goals. And since Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the agreement, the Chinese and Indian leaders have reaffirmed their commitment and continued to implement domestic policies to achieve their goals. In the end, all parties recognized the need to “prevent, minimize and address losses and damages,” but in particular any mention of compensation or liability is excluded.  The Convention also takes up the Warsaw International Loss and Damage Mechanism, an institution that will attempt to answer questions about how to classify, address and co-responsible losses.  The NRDC is saddened to make the Global Climate Action Summit a success based on more ambitious commitments to the landmark 2015 agreement and enhanced initiatives to reduce pollution. Recognizing that many developing countries and small island developing states that have contributed the least to climate change are most likely to suffer the consequences, the Paris Agreement contains a plan for developed countries – and others that are able to do so – to continue to provide financial resources to help developing countries reduce and increase their capacity to withstand climate change.