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Paris Isn’t Burning

Why the Climate Agreement Will Survive Trump

Captain Planet: Obama at a UN climate summit in New York City, September 2014. MIKE SEGAR / REUTERS

For decades, the world has understood the threat of climate change. But until recently, the economic and political obstacles to tackling the problem stymied global action. Today, that calculus has changed. Technological progress has made clean energy a profitable investment, and growing popular pressure has forced politicians to respond to the threat of ecological disaster. These trends have enabled major diplomatic breakthroughs, most notably the 2015 Paris agreement. In that pact, 195 countries pledged to make significant reductions in their greenhouse gas emissions. “We’ve shown what’s possible when the world stands as one,” proclaimed U.S. President Barack Obama after the talks concluded.

 Now, however, that agreement is under threat. When it comes to climate change, U.S. President Donald Trump has replaced urgency with skepticism and threatened to pull the United States out of the Paris agreement. He has spent the early months of his presidency attempting to roll

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