Top investors mount pressure on US to not leave Paris climate accord | world-news | Hindustan Times
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Top investors mount pressure on US to not leave Paris climate accord

Celebrating his 100 days in office last month, Trump said he will announce a “big decision” on the Paris Accord in two weeks and had gone on to accuse India, China and Russia of not paying enough towards the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.

world Updated: May 10, 2017 19:02 IST
Yashwant Raj
Donald Trump
Demonstrators march down Pennsylvania Avenue during a People's Climate March, to protest US President Donald Trump's stance on the environment, in Washington DC on April 29.(REUTERS FILE)

The world’s leading investors, having a combined worth of $14 trillion, urged world leaders to stay the course on the Paris climate accord, including the United States whose President Donald Trump could be considering pulling out.

“As long-term institutional investors, we believe that the mitigation of climate change is essential for the safeguarding of our investments,” they said in a letter released on Monday. “We urge all nations to stand by their commitments to the Agreement.”

The letter, signed by 214 investors from around the world, was addressed to the G-7 members and those of the G-20, which includes India, a leading signatory of the accord.

Trump is leery of global warming, as are many Republicans, and has called it a hoax pulled by the Chinese. As a candidate for the White House in 2016, he had threatened to pull the US out of the Paris accord if elected.

Since his election, Trump has appeared less dogmatic and said he is keeping an “open mind” on the accord. At the same time, he has also been dismantling the regulatory mechanism put in place by his predecessor Barack Obama to enable the United States to fulfil its commitments under the accord.

Celebrating his 100 days in office last month, Trump said he will announce a “big decision” on the Paris Accord in two weeks and had gone on to accuse India, China and Russia of not paying enough towards the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.

Under President Obama, the United States led the efforts to get countries to sign the agreement, pushing China and India, two of the world’s major air polluters, to join it at the top of the ticket — President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were among the leading lights at the signing in December 2015.

Now, China is among a bunch of countries, along with the European Union, that have specifically and officially asked the Trump administration if it will be meeting its short-term 2020 commitments under a UN system of ensuring compliance established by the accord, and how.

Now, leading investors from around the world are mounting pressure on the Trump administration to not pull the United States out of the Paris Accord. “Climate change action must be an urgent priority in the G20 countries, especially the United States, whose commitment is in question,” Mindy Lubber, head of the non-profit organization Ceres that drove the efforts to put together the letter, said in a statement.

The investors said in the letter, “we are concerned that reference to climate change, climate finance and climate adaptation were omitted from the G20 Finance Ministers Communiqué in March 2017.

“We urge government leaders to ensure that climate change is explicitly acknowledged at the G20 Leaders Summit on 7- 8th July. Investors believe it is vital that the governments of G7 and G20 nations continue to publicly express their commitment to support climate finance to both mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.”