If Donald Trump wins the US presidential election, “it is ‘Game-Over’ for the climate crisis”, the director of the Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) has warned.
– “Climate cannot deal with” four more years of Trump “destruction”
Tomás Insua spoke to Vatican News November 4 to analyse the formalisation that day of the US withdrawal from the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement.
Though President Trump announced in July 2017 that the US would depart the Agreement – which seeks, among other things, to limit global greenhouse emissions and to maintain temperatures “well below” 2.0C above pre-industrial levels – due to UN rules the exit only took effect Wednesday, one day after the US presidential ballot.
Insua – the co-founder and executive director of the GCCM – said the US withdrawal was nothing more than a “pretty irrelevant” formality, “because the United States already exited the Agreement four years ago, on the first day of the Trump Administration”.
“Trump has consistently dismantled all environmental regulations, boosting pollution in the United States, which means that de facto they already left a long time ago”, Insua lamented.
Looking ahead post-vote, Insua said that “the result of the elections will determine the severity of the climate crisis for centuries to come”.
Hoping that Trump is not returned to power, the GCCM director warned that “the climate cannot deal with four more years of this destruction”.
“If Biden wins instead, we will see what happens, but he has to quickly bring the United States back into the Paris Agreement”, Insua observed, insisting that the US has a great responsibility to halt climate change “given that is the greatest carbon emitter in historical terms”.
– Bishops’ reactions to the vote
As of this Friday evening in Europe, Democratic candidate for the presidency Joe Biden is leading Republican nominee Trump in already-decided electoral college votes by a margin of 264-214, and is also ahead in key states where vote counting is still continuing.
However, major news outlets still have not called a winner in the race, among other reasons because the Trump campaign has launched a number of legal challenges to the results.
Despite the ongoing uncertainty over who will be the next US president, a number of Catholic bishops in the country are looking ahead already to the election aftermath.
The National Catholic Reporter rounded up a number of bishops’ reactions to the vote, including from Cardinal Sean O’Malley of the Boston archdiocese, who encouraged the new president – whoever it turns out to be – to commit to “the opportunity and the challenge of rebuilding civic trust, of providing a sense of hope in a time of social crisis, and of calling us all to share our best talents and energies in a common task”.
– Catholic vote split down the middle, divided along lines of race, ethnicity
As for which way the Catholic vote went in the election, the Associated Press reported Friday that it was pretty much split down the middle between the Republican and Democratic candidates.
AP’s VoteCast polled over 110,000 voters across the country and found that 50% of Catholics overall gave their support to Trump and 49% to Biden.
Catholics as a whole made up 22% of the electorate, the AP said.
White Catholics favoured Trump over Biden to the tune of 57% to 42%, while among Hispanic Catholics that trend was reversed, with 67% voting for Biden and 32% voting for Trump.