Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Oil pump jack near Andrews, Texas

An oil pump jack near Andrews, Texas. (Photo: Paul Lowry/flickr/cc)

U.S. a Rogue State if Trump Gets Wish on Climate Deal, Says UN Envoy

"It's unconscionable the United States would walk away from it"

Nika Knight

The United States will be a "rogue country" if President-elect Donald Trump successfully pulls out of the Paris climate accord, said United Nations envoy and international human rights advocate Mary Robinson to Reuters Sunday.

Robinson, former president of Ireland, said: "It would be a tragedy for the United States and the people of the United States if the U.S. becomes a kind of rogue country, the only country in the world that is somehow not going to go ahead with the Paris Agreement."

As a U.N. envoy for climate change, Robinson met with women in drought-stricken parts of Honduras, she said.

"I saw the pain on the faces of those women. And one of the women said to me, and I'll never forget, 'We have no water. How do you live without water?'" Robinson told Reuters. "I'm hearing that all over the world."

Indeed, Robinson's warning came on the same day that a World Bank report showed increasing natural disasters are pushing 26 million people into poverty each year. The report was made public at COP22, currently underway in Morocco.

"Severe climate shocks threaten to roll back decades of progress against poverty," said World Bank president Jim Kim at the climate conference, according to the Guardian. "Storms, floods, and droughts have dire human and economic consequences, with poor people often paying the heaviest price."

"The moral obligation of the United States as a big emitter, and a historically big emitter that built its whole economy on fossil fuels that are now damaging the world—it's unconscionable the United States would walk away from it," Robinson added to Reuters.

The president-elect is exploring fairly extreme options for pulling out of the deal, reports ThinkProgress, including "by canceling the very treaty that made the Paris agreement possible in the first place." This would make it impossible for the U.S. to partake in any international climate discussions or treaties.

Trump has also vowed to cut off billions of dollars in U.S. funding for international climate action.

The international community is indeed alarmed by Trump's climate threats. French presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy called for aggressive counter-moves if the U.S. retracts its climate commitments, arguing for a carbon tax on American goods. Author and activist Naomi Klein has also put forth a case for international sanctions against the U.S.

The Paris climate accord went into force on November 4, days before the U.S. presidential election. Environmentalists warned that even if all countries adhered to the agreement, the world may still face 3.5ºC of warming by 2100—and more recent research shows that emissions-as-normal could heat up the globe upwards of 7ºC by that point, unleashing climate chaos as yet unseen in human history.

Meanwhile, in Morocco other signatories to the deal are scrambling to push the deal farther, and to move faster, in order to send a counter-message to Trump's climate denialism and prove that the accord will prevail.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Ex-Prisoners Recall US Torture at 'Afghanistan's Abu Ghraib'

"It is psychologically hard for me to recall all that was happening," said one former Bagram Air Base inmate. "The torture was mostly done by Afghans, sometimes the Americans. But the orders came from the U.S."

Brett Wilkins ·


Rapid Shift to Electric Vehicles Could Create Over 150,000 Jobs in US by 2030

A new report says "smart" pro-labor policies by lawmakers would transform the "inevitable" shift to EVs "into a new beginning for U.S. producers and the rebuilding of a foundation for good jobs."

Kenny Stancil ·


'Groundbreaking' Win as Court Rules USFWS Can't Ignore Climate Impacts on Joshua Tree

The ruling represents a step forward "for all climate-imperiled species whose fate relies upon the service following the law," said advocacy group WildEarth Guardians.

Julia Conley ·


WHO's New Air Pollution Guidelines Reflect Deadly Toll of Fossil Fuels

"What matters most is whether governments implement impactful policies to reduce pollutant emissions, such as ending investments in coal, oil, and gas and prioritizing the transition to clean energy," said a Greenpeace scientist.

Jessica Corbett ·


Baby Poop Has Ten Times More Microplastic in It Than Adult Poop: Study

"The future is going to wonder what on earth we thought we were doing with plastic."

Andrea Germanos ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo