Business, Military, Energy Experts Call for US to Honor Paris Agreement

May 10, 2017

Leaving the Paris Agreement now would cause the US to ceed global leadership in the greatest wealth creating engines in human history.
A lot of smart people get that.



The United States will shoot itself in the foot if it quits the Paris climate accord because China, India and Europe will snap up the best power sector jobs in future, U.N. Environment chief Erik Solheim said on Thursday.

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to announce as early as next week whether he will take the United States out of the climate pact, having vowed during his campaign to “cancel the Paris Climate Agreement” within 100 days of becoming president.

“There is no doubt where the future is and that is what all the private sector companies have understood,” Solheim told Reuters in Geneva. “The future is green,” he said.

“Obviously if you are not a party to the Paris agreement, you will lose out. And the main losers of course will be the people of the United States itself because all the interesting, fascinating new green jobs would go to China and to the other parts of the world that are investing heavily in this.”

The world has now passed its “peak oil” stage, the Norwegian-born Solheim said, and was rapidly moving into the age of solar and wind.

Solheim’s new target is pollution, with plastic in the oceans expected to equal the weight of fish by 2050. But with science, mobilised citizens, regulated markets, and the enormous power of business, such huge problems could be solved, he said.

The green revolution is being led by iconic firms such as Google, Walmart, Microsoft, Apple and Facebook, so the momentum does not depend on Washington, Solheim said.

“Even if the worst were to happen and the United States were to withdraw, the consequences would be much less than people think,” he said.

Political leadership would shift to the European Union, China and India, and the U.N. is already talking to them about meeting the funding gap if the United States steps back – not only from the climate deal but U.N. funding in general.

New York Times:

The Trump administration may be pondering a retreat from the United States’ climate commitments, but corporate America is moving ahead with its own emissions goals.

Nearly half of the Fortune 500 biggest companies in the United States have now set targets to shrink their carbon footprints, according to a report published Tuesday by environmental organizations that monitor corporate emissions pledges. Twenty-five more companies adopted climate targets over the last two years, the groups said.

Almost two dozen companies, including Google, Walmart and Bank of America, have pledged to power their operations with 100 percent renewable energy, with varying deadlines, compared with just a handful in 2015. Google’s data centers worldwide will run entirely on renewable energyby the end of this year, the technology giant announced in December.

“We believe that climate change is real, and it’s a severe crisis,” said Gary Demasi, who directs Google’s energy strategy. “We’re not deviating from our goals.”


As the Trump administration continues to flip-flop on whether or not the United States should remain in the Paris climate agreement, investors managing a collective $15 trillion in assets are urging the world’s biggest economies to stand by their climate commitments.

In a letter addressed to all members of the G7, over 200 investors called on the world’s strongest economies to make climate action a priority, citing economic concerns over how the consequences of climate change could impact their business.

“As long-term institutional investors, we believe that the mitigation of climate change is essential for the safeguarding of our investments,” the letter, which was signed by 214 institutional investors, said. “We urge all nations to stand by their commitments to the agreement.”

The letter is hardly the first time members of the international business community have urged countries to remain in the Paris agreement, which was signed by nearly 200 countries in December of 2015. Trump campaigned on a promise to withdraw the United States from the agreement, incorrectly claiming that the agreement gives foreign countries control over what kind of energy the United States uses.


With the internal White House debate over whether to remain in or pull out of the Paris Agreement heating up, a bipartisan group of 20 retired senior military officers and national security experts have signed companion joint letters urging US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis to lead on addressing the security implications of climate change.

It is fortuitous timing, then, that a group of 20 retired senior military officers and national security officers have signed companion joint letters to two of the leading faces advocating the United States remain as part of the Paris Agreement.

In the letter to Secretary Tillerson, the signatories call on him to show leadership in “all important international forums where climate risks are being discussed and addressed.”

“As Secretary Mattis himself recently stated, ‘…climate change is a challenge that requires a broader, whole-of government response.’ The State Department’s role in that whole of government response will be crucial in the days, months and years ahead. That role includes acting as a leader on the issue among the international community – not least as that leadership can aid us in advancing our other vital security interests. That includes leadership in all important international forums where climate risks are being discussed and addressed.”

The second letter, to Secretary Mattis, reminded him that the “Department of Defense (DoD) and the intelligence community have been aware of this “threat multiplier,” and taking actions to address it, since the early years of the George W. Bush Administration.”

“To date, your leadership on this issue has been clear. We support you in continuing that leadership by maintaining and implementing a comprehensive DoD policy to adapt to a changing climate, to enhance the resilience of our armed forces, and to prepare for these risks in the global operating environment.”

The specifics of the role climate change has on security has been well-established of late, most recently in a new report from independent think-tank adelphi. Published last month, the report outlined the increasing impacts and effects of climate change as a threat-multiplier of violent conflict and fragility. The report highlighted two main mechanisms by which climate change acts to facilitate the rise and growth of non-state armed groups (read: terrorist organizations): by contributing to fragility and increasing the tension over natural resources and livelihood insecurity; and negatively impacting the livelihoods of people, who in turn then are forced to rely on what can be offered by these non-state armed groups.


11 Responses to “Business, Military, Energy Experts Call for US to Honor Paris Agreement”

  1. … Sure, it’s important the United States appear committed. But the kinds of change that are required in order for mitigation to matter won’t be arranged by top-down regulations, at least not in time.

    These don’t matter when bylaws in individual cities and towns discourage construction of zero Carbon energy sources, or microgrids. This problem was encountered in Germany at the start of the Energiewende, according to books by the late Hermann Scheer, and it took federal legislation outlawing them to make progress. Even then, it was upwind.

    No, I still think it’ll take a McCulley-Minsky moment for more people to really get the message. And reading this, as Judith Curry does, as a plea for not moving too fast, is getting it completely wrong. What Carney argues is that there are concrete, unpriced risks now not reflected in exposed assets. He’s much rather these be priced in gradually, than suddenly. He did not argue for governments to price these in suddenly. Curry argues for, essentially, responsible projections of climate risks, so governments or organizations do not move too swiftly. But Carney isn’t speaking of that. He fears a qualitatively different weather or climate event, one which cannot be easily dismissed as intrinsic variation which, once digested, triggered a sell-off in exposed assets, from fossil fuel companies to realty companies and banks holding appreciable real estate assets on coasts.

    What could be such an event?

    How about a single, unexpected collapse of a major ice sheet which results, in a matter of weeks, in a 1 foot or more sea level rise in some of the more exposed and valuable coasts in the world? Unlikely? Yes. Possible? Yes.

  2. webej Says:

    If the US pulls out of the Paris accord it will be solidifying its reputation as a rogue nation in terms of international law and cooperation. Imperfect as it is, the Paris accord is a beach head to better and further cooperation on climate, energy, and a host of related issues.
    What will be next? The UN moving its headquarters from NY to Shang-hai or Vienna?

    • dumboldguy Says:

      In Vera’s absence, her mini-me DweebyJ steps in as the junior Russian troll and badmouths the USA. ROGUE nation? SOLIDIFYING our reputation?

      JFC, but the anal orifice is in fine form today.

      • webej Says:

        And here’s Mr Aubsive, always crapping from the peanut gallery with ad hominem invective.
        Please count the number of nations that have had a “visit” from Uncle Sam since WW2 without a declaration of war or a casus belli. Please also count the number of successes from N Korea to Libya and Yemen. Not to mention successes such as regime change (by the secret and thus anti-democratic CIA) in the fifties and onward in Iran, Syria, Iraq, etc., or terrorism such as the bombing of the Balogna train station. Ever heard of Honduras, and the invasion on behalf of the banana companies (hence the saying “banana republic)?
        How many international bodies, courts, and treaties has the US opted out of the last 20 years?
        And note the worst war crime is aggression, since it is the cause of all subsequent war crimes.

        • dumboldguy Says:

          Here’s Dweeby, with a feeble attempt as showing disdain with “crapping from the peanut gallery with ad hominem invective”. He forces me to once again point out that it is not an ad hominem to point out the truth about him and Vera—-they are paid whores for Putin and Russia and lying POS—-both their “arguments” (propaganda) and their ethics come from there.

          Dweeby wants to play the “your hands are dirty too” game with us, forgetting that ALL so-called “human civilizations” have been guilty of such sins in the past, especially the colonial western ones built on capitalism. Unfortunately, he neglects to mention that Russia under Stalin and Putin are far more guilty than the USA, which has been a comparative force for good in the world.

          • webej Says:

            “not ad hominem to point out the truth about … paid whores”

            I wish I were paid.
            Since you know this for a fact, please detail any evidence: none will be forth-coming since I am not being paid. My closest encounter to anything Russian is the occasional stray tourist… But please expand on your ad hominem ‘knowledge’.

            If not, I will stick to my conclusion, viz. you lack any civility and engage exclusively on the basis of personal abuse.

            I have never said anything about Stalin, but probably agree with you.
            I would like to know what exactly in what way the US has been a force for good in Iran or Chile or Iraq or Vietnam or Korea. To my way of thinking the application of “force” generally has deleterious consequences, even when the intention is good, which it unfortunately usually isn’t, because there is a wide gulf between the public narrative and canonical “historical” accounts and the actual machinations behind the curtain.

            How might Iran have developed if left to its own devices, without the 1953 coup against Iran’s democratically elected prime minister Mohammad Mosaddeq, nor the US assisted Iraq-Iran war (in which the US supplied Sadam with [chemical] weapons, who himself came to power after similar CIA machinations), or the revolution against the Shah and continuous US sanctions ever since?


  3. Ron Voisin Says:

    Utter magical thinking.

  4. Ron Voisin Says:

    Leave the Europeans to fund whatever charades they think are in order for themselves…but leave us out.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Speaking of anal orifices, here’s Ron the electrical engineer who “studies” climate change as a “hobby” since he retired (and is failing the course badly because he doesn’t have the science knowledge and is driven by political ideology rather than facts).

      A bigger problem is Ron’s reading comprehension skills. He obviously hasn’t read or understood the excellent excerpts contained in this piece, or he would have responded with more than inanities (Or is he drunk again?)

      • I’m an engineer — worked and studied with engineering types for the majority of my life.

        Engineers for the most part are pretty smart; but many of them think that they are a lot smarter than they really are. Engineers tend to be very specialized — get them outside of their narrow fields of expertise and they can be as clueless as anyone else.

        The large number of climate-science-denying engineers is proof of the above.


        A few years ago, a co-worker (an engineer) told me that Mann’s hockey stick had been completely debunked, that Mann’s method creates hockey sticks from random noise, yadda yadda yadda…

        So I asked this engineer that if he were to compare “random noise” singular values with tree ring data singular values, what he would expect to see. That is, how would random noise singular value magnitudes compare with tree ring data singular value magnitudes?

        His response? A dumb look. He didn’t have the slightest idea of what I was talking about. But there he was, confidently asserting that Mann got it all wrong even though he didn’t have the slightest understanding of the techniques that Mann used.

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