(editorial) Nov 23,2016

The UN climate change conference, held recently in Morocco as a crucial step for governments looking to build on the Paris Climate Change Agreement adopted last year, was proof that the implementation of the Paris Agreement is under way and that the spirit of multilateral cooperation on climate change continues.

Yet, while the organisers of the conference shared enthusiasm about the momentum created and successes scored, they must also be worried about the US President-elect Donald Trump’s stand on the issue, knowing that he differs significantly from the international community in regard to global warming, which he not only fails to see as a threat, but considers a hoax.

During his election campaign, Trump said he aimed to “cancel” the Paris Agreement altogether and withdraw US money from UN projects geared at tackling global warming.

The very many countries that stand by the Paris Agreement are still hoping that Trump’s negative rhetoric on global warming is just that, and not his true position on the subject.

The Moroccan foreign minister sent a message to Trump, saying “we count on your pragmatism and your spirit of commitment”, clearly projecting anxiety with a possible negative US stand.

It will not be easy for the new US president to go against the international current on this vital challenge, especially when 190 countries have already committed themselves in Paris to reduce significantly greenhouse gas emissions, blamed for rising the temperature and sea levels.

Islands and drought-stricken countries are most worried about the impact of global warming, which threatens their very survival.

Fiji’s prime minister even invited Trump to visit his island country to see for himself the effects of climate change if he still entertains doubts.

Some 40 African and island states committed themselves at the Moroccan meting to purse 100 per cent reliance on renewable energy as soon as possible, but need aid to help them make this dramatic shift.

Trump or no Trump, the meeting ended on a positive note when the German minister of environment said that the meeting “has demonstrated that the spirit of Paris is alive and stronger than ever”.

The fight against global warming is an international responsibility; it should not be based on ideology or political orientation. It is simply vital to the survival of our planet.

Surely Trump will not want go down in history as having impeded international effort to control climate change.

There is every hope, therefore, that the US will stay on board with the rest of mankind and contribute to the common cause.