Spotlight: Trump's win spurs concern over possible U.S. withdrawal from climate deal

by Xinhua writers Tang Peipei, Liu Kai

MARRAKECH, Morocco, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Donald Trump's win of the U.S. presidential election on Wednesday has triggered concerns by experts attending the climate change conference here over the U.S. possible pull-out from the Paris Agreement, with others still expecting the president-to-be would be more measured and responsible on the issue.

Salaheddine Mezouar, president of the 22nd Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22), congratulated Donald Trump on his election, saying that the ongoing conference will continue to discuss and mobilize, in order to "pursue progress already made with all parties, particularly with the new American administration."

He highlighted that climate change issue transcends politics and concerns the "preservation of our livelihood, dignity and the only planet on which we all live," saying that all parties will respect their commitments and stay the course in this collective effort.

Trump has vowed in his presidential campaign to "cancel" the Paris Agreement once elected, calling global warming a "hoax," and to stop all payments of U.S. tax dollars to UN global warming programs, which worried many after the agreement's entry into force on Nov. 4.

"Human-caused climate change is not a belief, a hoax, or a conspiracy. It is a physical reality," said an open letter released Tuesday, signed by 375 members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, including 30 Nobel laureates and renowned scientists such as Stephen Hawking.

"Election results will impact tone of negotiations, but the task ahead remains the same. We need long-term vision, regardless of the U.S. elections," said Mariana Panuncio-Feldman, senior director of international climate cooperation of World Wildlife Fund.

Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy from Union of Concerned Scientists, said that it remains to be seen whether Trump would be the same "as we saw in the campaign, or a more measured and responsible Trump we saw in his acceptance speech this morning," adding that courage and expectation are needed to view him as a responsible president.

He said that Trump was "very conciliatory" in his acceptance speech on Wednesday, voicing hope to work with the United States as partners rather than adversaries.

According to Li Shuo, Greenpeace's senior climate policy adviser, the U.S. economy is "decarbonizing," and developing renewable energy resources is the general direction of U.S. action dealing with climate changes.

Segolene Royal, president of COP21, called it means of campaign that Trump advocated to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, which is not worth concerning about, while Brazilian Minister of Environment Jose Sarney Filho said that dropping out the combat against climate change is unthinkable for any society in the face of the threatening issue.

The Paris Agreement was signed in 2015 during COP21. Its 180 signatories committed themselves to maintaining global warming to under 2 degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels.

The United States remains outside a previous major climate agreement, the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, since George W. Bush withdrew from the treaty in 2001, arguing that it might cripple the U.S. economy.

[ Editor:yfs001]

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