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Trump climate fears overblown says Gummer

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Chairman of the Committee on Climate Change John Gummer tells AJ that president-elect won’t be able to cancel Paris agreement

US president-elect Donald Trump will not be able to withdraw the country from the Paris climate agreement, the chairman of the UK’s independent committee on climate change has predicted.

John Gummer, who is also a Tory peer and a former environment secretary, told the AJ that since the United States has already signed up to the Paris deal, Trump would not have time during his four year term to undo that agreement given a notice period for withdrawal of the same length of time.

‘America has signed up and there is a four year notice period so it’s a pretty complex system [to exit], he said.

The US is the world’s largest per capita carbon polluter but Gummer said Trump’s victory had left him more concerned for his friends across the Atlantic than for global efforts to reduce Co2 emissions.

He said: ‘It’s a pity to have someone who is scientifically illiterate in the White House. The US has, in my view, made a huge mistake in electing Trump just as the UK made a huge mistake in voting to leave the European Union.

‘We’ve had two examples of the ability of populism, with considerable media support, to win through. But it is also noticeable that in both countries there is more support for tackling climate change now than there was a year ago.’

Gummer added that he was ‘very confident’ about the direction of the British government and pointed to recent speeches on renewables by climate minister Nick Hurd and business and energy secretary Greg Clark.

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