Donald Trump announced today that he’ll pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, which would make the country just one of three worldwide—joining Nicaragua and Syria—to refuse participation in the landmark climate deal. Trump claimed “we are getting out, but we will start to negotiate and see if we can make a deal that’s fair.”
With today’s declaration, Trump kicked off a four-year process that could eventually be reversed by his successor and will involve numerous bureaucratic hurdles. With or without the United States, however, all countries will need to drastically ratchet up their plans for reducing emissions to get anywhere close to meeting the goals set out in Paris in 2015.
While news about climate change often raises fears that the end of the world is coming, today’s announcement may not be as bad as it seems. Trump’s move is troubling, but climate scientist Glen Peters suggests that the mood need not be all doom and gloom. I spoke with Peters, a senior researcher at Norway’s CICERO Center for International Climate Research, about Trump, what’s next for the Paris Agreement and why not all hope is lost.