“President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement is of course hugely significant – it will undoubtedly be a massive blow to the global fight against climate change – but the UK should stand firm, and continue the good progress that’s been made.
“There are still hundreds of countries backing the agreement, and we are also seeing large global businesses making strong commitments to reducing their carbon emissions. However, the Paris Agreement will ultimately be weakened – in terms of both its status and its success – without the backing of the US, the second-biggest carbon dioxide emitter in the world.
“Whether Trump can renegotiate a deal that he believes to be fair to the US or not remains to be seen, what’s for certain is that any unravelling of the Paris Agreement will subsequently result in diluted messages about global carbon reduction commitments and weaken arguments about the effects of climate change. This could adversely impact UK businesses, many of which have already invested in, and have committed to, reducing their emissions.
“UK businesses want a long-term, consistent energy/carbon reduction strategy, so they can plan and prepare for the future. They also want to compete in a fair market, and climate change policies have a significant impact on UK electricity costs, it’s likely that businesses across the world will see their US competitors as having an unfair advantage from lower energy costs. We could even see countries that remain in the Paris Agreement raising a retaliatory carbon tax on US imports as a result.”