By Joseph Dussault

On Tuesday, Stephen Hawking and 374 other prominent scientists issued a personal plea to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump: Don’t back out of the Paris climate agreement.

Doing so could have “severe and long-lasting” consequences for global climate and US credibility, warns an open letter penned by members of the National Academy of Sciences, including 30 Nobel laureates. The letter doesn’t exactly mention Mr. Trump by name, but refers to him as “the Republican nominee for President,” who has said he would either alter or abandon the deal if elected – although his hypothetical ability to do so grew dimmer on Wednesday, as 20 more world leaders signed on to the agreement in New York…

…Trump’s approach reflects a broader GOP strategy when it comes to energy talks: ambiguity. Many Republican politicians do not often specifically mention climate change by name, instead focusing on US energy independence and the economic impact of such deals. That strategy has been employed by other GOP heavy-hitters such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, who are reluctant to make economic changes to combat climate change, still a sharply partisan issue.

Yet more and more Americans recognize the reality of climate change, making outright denial more politically risky: in a recent poll by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, for example, 77 percent of respondents said climate change is happening.

And for most Americans – not just Congress – the cost of climate action is a tough pill to swallow. In the University of Chicago and AP-NORC poll, 42 percent of all respondents said they would not pay even $1 per month for preventing climate change, although 65 percent believe it is a problem the government should address…

Continue reading at the CS Monitor…

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Areas of Focus: Climate Change
Climate Change
Climate change is an urgent global challenge. EPIC research is helping to assess its impacts, quantify its costs, and identify an efficient set of policies to reduce emissions and adapt...
Climate Law & Policy
Climate Law & Policy
As countries around the world implement policies to confront climate change, EPIC research is calculating which policies will have the most impact for the least cost.