Vice President Mike Pence said Friday that “for some reason or another, this issue of climate change has emerged as a paramount issue for the left in this country and around the world.”
In an interview with “Fox and Friends” Friday, a day after President Donald Trump announced he would withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change, Pence expressed bewilderment at the “long been a goal of the liberal left in this country” to advance a “climate change agenda.”
“For some reason or another, this issue of climate change has emerged as a paramount issue for the left in this country and around the world,” Pence said. “And through Kyoto, through President Obama’s cap-and-trade agenda, and then through the, in the last year of his administration to have America saddled in an international agreement in the Paris accord, I think put a real burden on our economy and our people. It was a bad deal for America.”
The government acknowledges — or, at least, NASA does — that global temperatures “will continue to rise for decades to come, largely due to greenhouse gases produced by human activities.”
Likely effects, according to NASA, will include more heat waves and droughts, more and more powerful hurricanes, dramatic sea level rise and an Arctic Ocean that is “essentially ice free in the summer before mid-century,” the implications of which are profound.
On Thursday, Trump minimized the impact of the Paris accord on climate, instead painting it as a global economic conspiracy against the United States.
“A cynic would say the obvious reason for economic competitors and their wish to see us remain in the agreement is so that we continue to suffer this self-inflicted major economic wound,” he said.
Under the agreement, for which the United States’ participation was a crucial element, nations submitted emissions targets, which are voluntarily enforced.
The United States’ goal was to lower emissions 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. President Barack Obama also transferred $1 billion to the Green Climate Fund, meant to help developing countries address the effects of climate change, by which they are likely to be disproportionately impacted. He had pledged a total of $3 billion.
Trump initiated a review, early in his administration, of the Clean Power Plan, Obama’s central effort to address emissions in the United States. Overall, in executive orders, laws, and in his proposed budget, he has been extremely effective in marginalizing federal efforts to protect the planet.
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This post has been updated to more accurately describe the Green Climate Fund