The Incredibly Shrinking Super Power
Despite the high drama in the White House about a meeting set for Tuesday May 9th between dueling forces among the Trump Team whether to “Remain” or “Leave” an historic world Paris agreement, the meeting inexplicably cancelled, and President Trump announced that he would decide the issue after his G-7 Visit, May 26th. The US sent a micro-delegation of 7 people, less than Zimbabwe’s. In other words, we look pitiful and weak to the rest of the world.
According to the Chicago Tribune, “Other industrialized nations such as China, France, and Germany each sent dozens of officials — the French delegation alone had 42 official participants. The U.S. sent 44 official participants just last year.”
Among those who want to pull out of the Paris Agreement are Alt-Right Sr. Advisor Steve Bannon and EPA Director Scott Pruitt vs. Jared and Ivanka Trump, who strongly support Climate Action, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who testified during his confirmation that he supports Paris, but recent reporting is that Rex thinks that having “a seat at the table” is the motive, which could mean that we try to weaken US Pledges or worse, try to undermine the entire Agreement. (May I remind you, Rex Tillerson received a Presidential Metal of Friendship for Putin, and CEO of Exxon, commenced drilling Russia in a joint project worth $500 billion, that has been put on ice since sanctions over Crimea). Oh, now it’s getting interesting…
So the world have their sleeves rolled up, especially China, who has taken a leadership role on the agreement and is aggressively enforcing their Pledges, investing $321 billion in renewable energy and shutting down half-built coal plants. President Xi expressly told Trump that pulling out of Paris will negatively impact the US with the G-7 and G-20. (And Donald, read behind the lines here. You can’t ask Xi to go to the mat for you on N. Korea, when he has his own demand: Paris.) My, how have roles have changed since Kyoto.
The US insistence of stripping any language of Climate Change from the G-7 Statement, including a reiterated pledge to phase out fossil fuel subsidies by 2025. They weren’t happy.
The bottom line is the US will loose all credibility with our allies and many adversaries themselves who have all signed the Agreement. Should the US pull out of 20 years of negotiated process and final Agreement in Paris 2015, the US will lose Super Power status and become a Slimy Power in the world’s eyes.