On Sunday’s episode of “Last Week Tonight,” host John Oliver delved into President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement.
Oliver pointed out that the major goal of the Paris Agreement is to keep CO2 below what is known as the world’s “carbon budget” because if we fail to limit the temperature rise of 2 degrees Celsius, studies show that things get potentially irreversible – leading to longer droughts and more intense heat waves that would affect the world food supply.
And then there are the jobs that have been created due to the world’s attention to the climate. Before Trump made the decision to leave the Paris accord last Thursday, 25 companies – including Microsoft and Intel – took out a full-page ad in The New York Times urging Trump to stay in the agreement because it “generates jobs and economic growth.”
“Well, c’mon, he was clearly never going to be convinced by an ad in The New York Times. How was he going to see it?” Oliver said. “If those companies really wanted to get his attention, they needed to talk KFC into giving out a full-bucket ad, which he would read on the toilet while eating chicken, because that – at its core – is who our president is.”
Oliver also touched on what the agreement required – in that there were no requirements.
Though Trump stated last Thursday that the agreement would affect the country’s coal business, the Paris accord had no restrictions on coal.
“It doesn’t even contain the word ‘coal’ in the agreement,” Oliver said.
And perhaps what’s most misunderstood about the accord is that goals set by the countries are completely voluntary and there are no penalties if they aren’t met.
“The only penalty was shame, and unfortunately this president is completely immune to the very concept of that,” Oliver said.
Watch the “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” segment on the Paris Agreement: