With Trump expected to skip the UN climate summit, the question will be: what’s possible if the most powerful nation is pulling away from action?
This story originally appeared in the Nation. It is republished here as part of the Guardian’s partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story.
As world leaders converge on New York City for the United Nations climate action Summit on 23 September, they enter what may be the most consequential week in climate politics since Donald Trump’s surprise election as president of the United States in 2016. Trump, of course, announced soon after taking office that he was withdrawing the US from the Paris agreement, the landmark treaty signed at the last big UN climate summit in 2015. António Guterres, the UN secretary general, convened this week’s summit precisely because the US and most other countries remain far from honoring their Paris pledges to reduce heat-trapping emissions enough to prevent catastrophic climate disruption.