The first victim of President Donald Trump will probably be the environment. Trump has tweeted that climate change is a ‘Chinese hoax’ that exists only to harm the US economy, though he later denied he ever wrote it. Trump campaigned on promises to re-open heavy industry and won many votes in coal country.
Early reports suggest that the Trump administration will abandon the Paris climate change agreement, which is an attempt to curb carbon emissions worldwide. The US signed up to the agreement to battle climate change before the election but those close to Trump are now saying he will try to pull out of the agreement.
Climate scientists have publicly expressed worry about the impact Donald Trump will have on the environment. Trump’s promise to re-open heavy industry in the US and his apparent commitment to fossil fuels, including coal and natural gas, could easily increase carbon emissions on a global scale.
It’s not only Trump who worries environmentalists and climate scientists. The Republican Party has long been skeptical of climate change and GOP politicians have fought every attempt to pass legislation to tackle rising carbon emissions. Several Republicans have claimed God would never allow humans to affect the climate.
The United States is crucial to any effort to tackle climate change. As a major industrialized nation and a huge polluter, US commitment to the environment is a key factor in any successful plan. Other big polluters, especially China, will have no reason to curb emissions if the US decides climate change is not a priority.