| November 10, 2016

Climate experts gathered here for the COP22 climate change conference have voiced confidence that the United States will honour its obligations and pledges made under the Paris Climate Change deal, despite Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump winning in Tuesday's presidential election.

US Climate experts, however, expressed their disappointment at Trump's decisive victory in view of the fact that President-elect Trump had expressed doubts about global warming, describing it as "a hoax perpetrated by China" and warning that he would cancel the climate deal if elected.

Among US climate change experts, shock and disappointment followed the news of Trump's triumph. Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists said: "I was somewhat surprised, because of the direction the polls were taking; this is a year like no other in American politics."

"It is very disappointing. ," said Katherine Egland, an observer at the 22nd Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) of the United nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) taking place here from Nov 7 to 18.

African experts, however, said they expected the US to continue with its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as contribute to a fund meant to help developing countries deal with the effects of climate change.

Under the Paris Accord, the Barack Obama Administration pledged to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2025. US climate experts gathered in Marrakech vowed to soldier on towards these objectives.

Mariana Panuncio, a senior director for International Climate Co-operation and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), said: "Given the progress that we have seen, we are confident that the nations of the world gathered here in Morroco will keep focusing on the work ahead."

Meyer warned that both Trump and his political party had a responsibility to accept that the globe is warming and that the effects can be felt right at the country's doorstep.

"It is clear that Donald Trump is about to be one of the most powerful people when he is inaugurated in 90 days, but even he does not have the power to amend the law and power of physics; he has to accept to the reality of climate change, he has the repsonsibility as the president-elect to protect the people from the economic health and security threat of climate change."

On Trump's previous comments that he would "withdraw" from the Paris Agreement and cut US contributions to the United Nations, US climate change experts say the agreement has huge economic benefits not just for the US but the globe.

Meyer said: "One way for President Trump to deliver on the millions of jobs he promised the American people is embracing the renewable energy space."

A partnership between China and the US, the world's two top polluters, has been credited for the adoption of the Paris deal. Lee Shuo, a Chinese climate expert, warned the US that there is no turning back.

"The US President needs to be mindful on this issue potential political consequences of it."

Africa and the rest of the developing world is betting on the Paris Agreement to help shore up funds, at least 100 billion US dollars a year by 2020 -- to help them deal with the effects of climate change.


Category: Human Rights

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