U.S. withdrawal from Paris will make for an awkward climate summit in Germany.
On Monday, Nov. 6, 200 signatories of the Paris Agreement will congregate in Bonn, Germany, for the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties, an annual round of United Nations climate talks.
COP23 was supposed to be an uneventful review of global climate goals, but that was before President Trump began the process of withdrawing the United States from the Paris deal in June. The U.S. is leaving behind the only serious global attempt at mitigating climate change even after record-breaking hurricane and wildfire seasons wreaked havoc at home.
The decision to withdraw means the U.S. delegates in Bonn will have to negotiate a deal their country is no longer involved in. Can anyone spell “awkward?”
While this year’s two-week conference takes place in Germany, it’s technically hosted by Fiji, the first small island nation to host the international talks. The uncertain climate future of small islands will play a central role in negotiations. Fijian Ambassador Nazhat Shemeem Khan says the concept of “talanoa,” Fijian for “inclusive storytelling,” is already beginning to take root in pre-conference discussions.