Climate Change and a Trump Presidency

When Donald Trump takes the oath of office in January, he appears poised to become the only world leader who questions whether climate change is real.

The Republican president-elect has called climate change a hoax and said he would "cancel" the United States' participation in the historic Paris climate accord to reduce carbon emissions. Among the people he is said to be considering to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, which Trump once proposed gutting, is Myron Ebell, a prominent skeptic of climate science.

Trump has also said he would revive the coal industry, expand fossil fuel development, relax restrictions on energy production on public land and do away with the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, which would reduce emissions from power plants. The Republican-controlled Congress that Trump will be working with shares many of his goals.

Now, less than a year after the Obama administration built alliances with China, India and other countries to lead the world in approving the Paris accord, Trump's stunning victory has given him the power to do much of what he said he wants to do. That has raised profound questions about domestic and international efforts to fight climate change at a moment when scientists say there is no time for delay.

"Millions of Americans voted for a coal-loving climate denier willing to condemn people around the globe to poverty, famine and death from climate change," Benjamin Schreiber, the climate and energy director for Friends of the Earth, said in one of the blizzard of reaction statements distributed by anguished environmental groups on Wednesday. "It seems undeniable that the United States will become a rogue state on climate change."

Given Trump's shifting positions on the campaign trail and uncertainty over who might advise him, it is unclear how actively he will follow through on statements he made about energy and...

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