*** DEBUG END ***

Trump win is climate ‘disaster’

11 November 2016


Devastated: climate activists comfort each other during a protest against President-elect Donald Trump at the COP22 Climate Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco

Devastated: climate activists comfort each other during a protest against President-elect Donald Trump at the COP22 Climate Conference in Marrakesh, M...

DELEGATES at the UN climate summit in Marrakesh, Morocco, struck a defiant tone on Wednesday, as they awoke to news that Donald Trump would become the next President of the United States.

With the historic Paris Agreement, which was signed last year, coming into force last week, in large part thanks to US political leadership from President Obama, there is concern about how a Trump Presidency will affect global efforts to tackle climate change.

The campaign group 350.org, which has led the global fossil-fuel divestment movement, described Trump’s victory as a “disaster”. A statement from the group said: “Trump will try to slam the brakes on climate action, which means we need to throw all of our weight on the accelerator.”

But Alden Mayer, the director of strategy and policy of the Union of Concerned Scientists, based in Washington DC, said that there was evidence that US action on climate change may not be discarded quite so easily. He said: “Donald Trump is about to become one of most powerful men in the world, but even he doesn’t have the power to change the laws of physics, to stop temperatures rising, and try to roll back the seas like King Canute. Climate change is now an issue of global geopolitical magnitude and no country will be able to get away without doing their fair share. If Trump wants to keep the global co-operation he needs to achieve his goals on trade and terrorism, he will not be able be a rogue nation on climate change.”

Mr Meyer added: “President-elect Trump has different responsibilities than Trump the candidate. He now has a responsibility to protect the American people. If he wants to deliver on his promise to create millions of new jobs, he can’t ignore the global renewable energy revolution. Other countries are fighting for leadership in this race and it will be in America’s interest to maintain its current leadership. China, India, Brazil, and the EU are not moving ahead on clean energy and climate change to please the US, they are doing it in their own interests to protect their people and reap the benefits of global transition to a low-carbon economy.”

Although climate-change policy may divide some US politicians, embracing renewable energy is actually something that unites the US’s divided public. A Pew Research study published in October 2016 suggested that 83 per cent of Americans support expanding wind farms, and 89 per cent support expansion of solar energy.

The Bishop of Bunyoro-Kitara, in Uganda, the Rt Revd Nathan Kwamanya, was troubled by the result, but believed that economic reality and international pressure would bear fruit. He said: “What he says in the campaign is one thing. Now he has to face reality. The US economy is not almighty, it can’t isolate itself. He can’t go it alone, he needs others. He will have to listen.”


Joe Ware is a writer and journalist at Christian Aid.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events


Church Times/RSCM: 

Intercultural Church for a Multicultural World

28 May 2024

A Church Times/Church House Publishing webinar

Tickets are FREE


Church Times/Modern Church:

A Political Faith?

Monday 3 June 2024

This panel will explore where Christians have come to in terms of political power and ask, where should we go next?

Online tickets available


Church Times/Modern Church:

Participating in Democracy

Monday 10 June 2024

This panel will explore the power of voting, and power beyond voting.

Online tickets available


Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Church Times/Canterbury Press:

Festival of Preaching

15-17 September 2024

The festival moves to Cambridge along with a sparkling selection of expert speakers

Early bird tickets available



Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)