U.S. will not abandon Paris Agreement under Trump: UN Secretary-General

  • World, Published on: Tuesday 15th November 16 - 8:22pm

"I spoke to the President-elect last week and I remain optimistic about our efforts to control climate change," says Ban Ki-moon.

As speculations of United States President-elect Donald Trump appointing oil moguls and corporate executives to his administrative team continued, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon assured the press here on Tuesday that the country will not abandon the Paris Agreement under the new government.

“I have spoken to President-elect Donald Trump last week and I remain optimistic about our efforts to control climate change,” he told a packed conference room at the Bab Ighli venue of the 22nd Conference of Parties (COP22) to UNFCCC here.

Mr. Ban expressed the hope that Mr. Trump would abandon his campaign rhetoric on climate change, when he said climate change was a hoax and vowed to pull out of the treaty.

Ahead of the high-level negotiations segment to the Paris Agreement beginning on Tuesday, he urged all countries to ratify the Paris Agreement and raise their ambitions to cut greenhouse gas emissions before 2020. He proudly announced that 110 countries had ratified the Agreement so far, covering about 75 per cent of global emissions.

Mr. Ban, who demits office in early 2017, emphasised that no country, however rich, was insulated from the impacts of climate change, and urged early action from all signatory countries.

Responding to a question on what would happen if the US did pull out of the accord, he said that market forces had begun to respond to incentives for producing clean energy and that Mr. Trump, being a businessman, ought to recognise the reality of the change led by the Paris Agreement.

With 2016 slated to be the hottest year on record, and several parts of the world experiencing extreme weather events as a result, Mr. Ban said: “I am hopeful Donald Trump will understand the seriousness of climate change. He will have to understand the reality and take wise decisions.”