Nicholas Stern and Bob Ward respond to President Trump’s announcement about the Paris Agreement on climate change

Nicholas Stern

Responding to President Trump’s announcement today (1 June 2017) about the Paris Agreement on climate change, Professor Lord Nicholas Stern, Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said:

“This is an unfortunate decision by President Trump, particularly in light of the compelling advice he has received from American businesses and policy-makers around the world about the value of the Paris Agreement, which will not only deliver a much safer world for our children and grandchildren but will also foster a very attractive, clean and sustainable growth path in the coming years. It is clear that other countries will continue to implement the Paris Agreement to avoid dangerous climate change. I expect many American States, cities, companies and communities will also maintain their pursuit of economic growth that is modern, smart, clean, efficient and resilient. But President Trump’s announcement appears to have left the door partilally open because he referred to re-entering the Paris Agreement. This could happen if he sees both other countries over-fulfilling on their commitments to the Agreement and the tremendous technological advances and job creation that are coming from American firms pursuing the low-carbon route.”

Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said: “President Trump’s speech was very confused. He announced that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change, while also launching negotiations to re-enter the Agreement. But the Agreement states that no country can withdraw within three years of it coming into force, and the process of withdrawal takes a further year to complete. That means the United States cannot complete withdrawal from the Paris Agreement before 5 November 2020, the day after the next Presidential election in the United States. So Mr Trump will not have withdrawn from the Agreement within this Presidential term. Furthermore, in making his case for withdrawal, President Trump cited a number of bogus sources, including a fundamentally flawed study by NERA Economic Consulting from March 2017 that calculated the costs of the United States implementing its targets under the Agreement while making many unrealistic assumptions, such as every other country ignoring their targets, and no development of electric vehicles to replace those fuelled by gasoline. And, as his chief economic adviser has warned the President, withdrawal from the Paris Agreement will not save the coal industry in the United States, which is being put out of business by cheaper sources of electricity, particularly shale gas and renewables.”

For more information about this media release please contact Bob Ward on +44 (0) 7811 320346 or Victoria Druce on +44 (0) 207 955 5865 or v.druce@lse.ac.uk.

 

NOTES FOR EDITORS

  1. Lord Stern is chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, as well as I.G. Patel Professor of Economics and Government, at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Since July 2013, Lord Stern has been President of the British Academy for the humanities and social sciences. Lord Stern was with HM Treasury between October 2003 and May 2007. He served as Second Permanent Secretary and Head of the Government Economic Service, head of the review of the economics of climate change (the results of which were published in ‘The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review’ in October 2006), and director of policy and research for the Commission for Africa. His previous posts included Senior Vice-President and Chief Economist at the World Bank, and Chief Economist and Special Counsellor to the President at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Baron Stern of Brentford was introduced in December 2007 to the House of Lords, where he sits on the independent cross-benches. He was recommended as a non-party-political life peer by the UK House of Lords Appointments Commission in October 2007.

 

  1. The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (http://www.lse.ac.uk/grantham) was launched at the London School of Economics and Political Science in October 2008. It is funded by The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment (http://www.granthamfoundation.org/).