Hol­lande: US must re­spect ‘ir­re­versible’ cli­mate deal

Jamaica Gleaner - - BUSINESS - – AP

FRENCH PRES­I­DENT François Hol­lande on Tues­day urged the United States to re­spect the “ir­re­versible” Paris Agree­ment on cli­mate change, and said France will lead a di­a­logue on the topic with Pres­i­den­t­elect Don­ald Trump “on be­half of the 100 coun­tries that have rat­i­fied” the deal.

Speak­ing to a United Na­tions cli­mate con­fer­ence in Morocco, Hol­lande praised US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama for his role in get­ting the land­mark pact adopted in the French cap­i­tal last year.

“The United States, the most pow­er­ful econ­omy in the world, the se­cond-largest emit­ter of green­house gases, must re­spect the com­mit­ments that were made,” he said. “It’s not sim­ply their duty, it’s in their in­ter­est.”

Sci­en­tists say oil and other fos­sil fu­els are the big­gest con­trib­u­tors to man-made warm­ing. Trump, how­ever, has called global warm­ing a “hoax” and pledged dur­ing his cam­paign to “can­cel” the Paris deal.

“The agree­ment was his­toric,” Hol­lande said. “But what we must say here is that this agree­ment is ir­re­versible.”

Ear­lier, UN Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Ban Ki-moon said he hopes Trump will shift his course on global warm­ing and “un­der­stand the se­ri­ous­ness and ur­gency” of ad­dress­ing the prob­lem.

“As pres­i­dent of the United States, I’m sure that he will un­der­stand this, he will lis­ten and he will evaluate his cam­paign re­marks,” Ban told re­porters in Mar­rakesh.

The Paris Agree­ment was signed by more than 190 coun­tries and has been for­mally ap­proved by more than 100 of them, in­clud­ing the United States and even oil-rich Saudi Ara­bia.

Ban called in­ter­na­tional cli­mate ac­tion “un­stop­pable” and said that no coun­try, “how­ever re­source­ful or pow­er­ful,” is im­mune from the im­pacts of global warm­ing.

“We have no right to gam­ble with the fate of fu­ture gen­er­a­tions – or im­peril the sur­vival of other species that share our planet,” Ban told the con­fer­ence.

Trump’s elec­tion has cre­ated un­cer­tainty about the US role in the Paris deal, which calls on all coun­tries to re­duce or curb their green­house gas emis­sions and en­cour­ages rich coun­tries to help poor ones deal with cli­mate change.

King Mo­hammed VI of Morocco urged del­e­gates at the con­fer­ence to trans­late their com­mit­ments into ac­tions.

“What’s at stake is the very ex­is­tence of man,” the king said. “It is, there­fore, our joint duty to work hand in hand to pro­tect hu­man­ity.”

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