Latest posts by H. Sterling Burnett (see all)
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It seem’s politicians around the globe are wising up to what President Donald Trump always knew: The Paris climate agreement isn’t worth the hundreds of pages it is written on.
Brazil’s legal frontrunner for the country’s presidency, Jair Bolsonaro, says he wants to follow U.S. President Donald Trump’s lead and take Brazil out of the Paris Agreement if he wins the October election.
At his campaign launch and during subsequent interviews, Bolsonaro has repeatedly said he would withdraw from the Paris pact. In support of his position, Bolsonaro has taken to social media recently to share an interview with Ricardo Felicio, a geographer and prominent climate skeptic, and the day after Trump announced his he was pulling the United States out of the Paris agreement, Bolsonaro shared an article defending the decision titled “The Greenhouse Fables.”
Bolsonaro’s three eldest sons, all elected officials, have been outspoken climate realists.
“Eduardo, a federal representative from the state of São Paulo, posted a homemade video in January characterizing the Paris deal as a globalist conspiracy. ‘It doesn’t make any sense,’ he told viewers from a snowy part of the US,” reports Climate Home News. In 2016, Bolsonaro’s son Carlos, a city councilman in Rio de Janeiro, blamed the “leftist agenda” for the massive amount of media coverage climate change gets, in a tweet. Son Flavio, a federal representative from Rio, has called global warming a “fraud.”
Pulling Brazil out of the Paris agreement might not be easy. Unlike in the United States, Brazil’s legislature ratified the Paris agreement, meaning it would have to approve withdrawal from it.
And in Australia, things are moving at an even faster, more definite pace against the Paris agreement.
In an ultimately failed attempt to save his job, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull removed a pledge to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 26 percent by 2030 from his “National Energy Guarantee” plan, after MPs in his own party revolted and challengeed his leadership position. That plank of the energy plan was aimed at meeting Australia’s obligations to cut emissions under the Paris climate agreement. Turnbull’s last-minute effort to save his job over the climate dispute was unsuccessful: he was ousted from power today.
Before the ouster, the Independent reported, “[a]fter rebel Liberal Party MPs led by former prime minister Tony Abbott threatened to vote against the legislation—which would have triggered a crisis of confidence in Mr Turnbull—the PM decided to back down.”
Ironically, it was Abbott who actually signed Australia on to the Paris climate agreement, only to claim to colleagues later he’d been “misled” about the deal while in Paris. In the light of recent energy shortages and power failures and sharply rising prices, Abbot has said using energy policy to reduce emissions is “madness,” according to the Independent.
Acknowledging legislation containing the climate provisions would not pass parliament, Turnbull removed them
“In politics you have to focus on what you can deliver,” Turnbull announced at a press conference. “Cheaper power has always been our number one priority when it comes to energy policy.” After facing reality too late, Turnbull now will be delivering the keys to office to someone else.
Concerning the Paris climate agreement, the relevant question is, not who still supports it and will actually meet their greenhouse gas reduction commitments, rather it is what country will be next out the door.