Sustainable Energy

There’d be ‘uproar’ if Trump tries to pull out of COP21: Global lobby group

Brexit is going to be extremely complicated: ICC Sec-Gen

Donald Trump's criticisms on climate change are "very disturbing" and "very counterproductive", and he would face uproar if he tried to remove the U.S. from the Paris climate change agreement, the Secretary-General for the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), John Danilovich, told CNBC on Thursday.

The historic Paris climate change agreement adopted by almost 200 countries last December goes into effect this Friday, but political tensions around the accord still remain. In May 2016, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump pledged to reverse actions activated by current U.S. incumbent Barack Obama designed to combat climate change, while calling for fewer environmental protocols.

With less than a week until the world finds out whether the U.S. elects Hillary Clinton—who is in favor of COP21—or Trump, it's safe to say the environment's future and the Paris accord are on shaky ground.

"To bash these internationally agreed-upon accords is very counterproductive," Danilovich said on the sidelines of The New York Times Energy for Tomorrow conference in Paris.

"To extricate ourselves from the Paris agreement would take four years. It's not an easy process."

"So it's something which has to be considered very seriously. I would also think regardless of Donald Trump's comments, that there would be such an uproar were this to come about, that that would not succeed."

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Businesses ‘very much on board’ with COP21

While the COP21 agreement was signed in 2015, now comes the tricky part for corporates, as they have to work towards implementation.

While there may be concerns that businesses could be reluctant to implement elements of the accord, the ICC's secretary-general remained positive that companies were committed to the agreement.

"By and large, both large and small companies are very much on board with regards to the implementation of the actions they need to take to move forward on the agreement that was reached last year in Paris."

The ICC is not only the world's largest business organization, but also represents more than 6 million members. Danilovich added that many of these members had taken productive steps to implement parts of the accord.

"Our companies have been taking active steps to implement various aspects of the agreement not only in regards to infrastructure, but with regards to health care, with regards to a number of programs (in) energy, that will affect their bottom line in a positive way," he said.

"The cost of climate change is estimated to be over $700 billion if action is not taken. It's a win for business. Although it's a daunting prospect, it's something which they're more than happy to engage in."

"The momentum behind the climate agreement is very strong."

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