Green Party of Canada Leader Elizabeth May worries what this week’s United States election will mean for world-wide climate change prevention efforts.
May was on the Saanich Peninsula this week and was asked about Tuesday night’s U.S. presidential election during a tour Wednesday morning of a Sidney manufacturing company.
“I was worried that (President-Elect Donald) Trump would be able to exit the Paris Agreement (on climate change) after Barack Obama made sure the U.S. was part of the treaty,” she said.
That agreement, with 193 signatory countries world-wide, outlines plans to hold the line on, and reduce, greenhouse gas emissions.
May added that the Paris Agreement officially came into effect Nov. 4 — meaning that Trump cannot back out of the treaty for four years. In 2019, however, she said Trump could give a year’s notice of the U.S.’s exit from the deal.
She said that legally, the U.S. cannot pull out of the Paris Agreement for four years. However, she added a Trump government could take steps to prevent implementation of it accords within that country, effectively delaying the process.
May added there is a lot of uncertainty around what a Trump government might do to oppose climate change prevention efforts — as well as many other unknowns about his presidency.
“I think he’s a wild card,” she said. “We may have been witnessing a performance for the last couple of years and now we have to be very concerned about how strangely Trump will act.”
She added time will tell whether Trump will become a statesman, or remain a performer.
May credited the Canadian government for not being critical of Trump during the lead up to the presidential election.
“We have to be in a position to work with the United States, no matter who the president is. As a Canadian Member of Parliament, I have to expect the best.”
May added she never really believed any of the polls prior to the election, comparing the outcome to the U.K.’s Brexit vote — the shocking referendum outcome that saw voters there elect to have the U.K. leave the European Union.
As a female politician, May added that the barriers to a female president in the U.S. still exist, as reflected in the results of this election.