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Environment

U.S. election shakes global climate negotiations

by Paula Dupraz-Dobias, special to C&EN
November 21, 2016 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 94, ISSUE 46

This month’s two weeks of global talks aimed at defining the details of the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change were overshadowed by Donald Trump’s win in the U.S. presidential election. At the meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, French president François Hollande said the agreement clinched in French capital to control greenhouse gas emissions worldwide was “irreversible.” Hollande spoke in response to comments Trump made on the campaign trail that if elected, he would “cancel” the Paris accord. Developing countries at the Marrakech meeting, which ended Nov. 18, were concerned that the incoming Trump administration may renege on U.S. pledges including $3 billion for the global Green Climate Fund, which supports low-emission projects in poor countries. Trump’s election also raises the prospect of the U.S. losing its leadership role on climate change to China. Last week, hundreds of companies and organizations operating in the U.S. asked Trump to implement the Paris Agreement. They include DuPont, Royal DSM, and Unilever, along with lubricant maker Biosynthetic Technologies and water treatment tech firm Xylem.

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