President-elect Donald Trump says he’ll abandon his predecessor’s global climate change deal, but that didn’t stop the Obama administration this week from rolling out a new, even more ambitious plan to cut U.S. emissions by 80 percent by 2050, undermining the incoming president on the world stage two months before his inauguration.
The latest proposal, which critics on Capitol Hill say is dead on arrival as soon as Mr. Trump enters the White House on Jan. 20, is being sold to the rest of the world as a long-term road map to U.S. greenhouse gas reductions. It comes as Mr. Trump is also under growing pressure from foreign governments and leading U.S. companies not to walk away from President Obama’s climate change vision.
Seeking to reassure the rest of the world, Secretary of State John F. Kerry told a United Nations climate conference in Morocco that U.S. progress against global warming essentially is permanent, all but ignoring the fact that Mr. Trump has made it crystal-clear he plans to scrap the administration’s climate agenda immediately.
As he touted the latest proposal to slash emissions even further, he also suggested to other world leaders that if the U.S. does reverse course and abdicate its leadership on climate change, Mr. Trump alone will be to blame.
“This really is a turning point. It is a cause for optimism, notwithstanding what you see in different countries with respect to politics and change,” Mr. Kerry said in a speech late Wednesday. “In no uncertain terms, the question now is not whether we will transition … to a clean energy economy. That we’ve already begun to do. The question now is whether or not we are going to have the will to get this job done.