COP 22 Marrakesh Fadel Senna/Getty Images

Sustainability in the Trump Era

No one knows what Trump will do, because he doesn’t know, either. His administration’s environmental policy is not carved in stone; it’s written in water, which always seeks the fastest route to the lowest point.

COPENHAGEN – The forces fighting global warming and battling to strengthen environmental protection must brace for heavy collateral damage as a result of Donald Trump’s victory in the United States’ presidential election. Judging by Trump’s campaign rhetoric, and by statements from his Republican allies, environmental protection in the US will be gutted in a frenzy of deregulation and inducements for domestic oil, coal, and gas producers.

Environmentalists are assessing the potential damage and developing strategies to avoid an onslaught driven by the most extreme anti-sustainability forces that have ever controlled Capitol Hill. The list of possible victims is long and depressing. If worse comes to worst, America will become much less green, while dealing a crippling blow to international cooperation.

At the recent climate conference meeting (COP 22) in Marrakesh, attention focused on the various ways a Trump administration might kill the climate agreement reached at COP 21 in Paris last year. Death could come by assassination, with Trump tearing up the agreement. Or it could come by starvation, with the US refusing to do or pay its share. Or it could be tortured to death, with the US asking everyone else to do more.

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