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Climate change is the single biggest challenge facing humankind. Yet the next president of the United States – the world's second-largest greenhouse-gas emitter and a critical actor in climate policy – does not believe it is happening, or at least that humans have a role in driving it.Reflecting this line of thinking, Trump has announced his intention to reverse carbon-emission limits for coal-fired power plants, step up fossil-fuel production, and roll back support for wind and solar power. He has also pledged to pull the U.S. out of the global climate-change agreement concluded last December in Paris.To be sure, Trump recently met with the former U.S. vice president and vocal climate activist Al Gore.In fact, there are actions that Trump can take for other ends – from boosting the U.S. economy to enhancing America's global influence – that would also advance the climate agenda.There is one more key reason why Trump, the climate-skeptic, might be convinced to sustain progress on climate action: preserving and enhancing America's international influence.Global climate leadership will require the U.S., first and foremost, to fulfill its Paris commitments. Trump already wants to invest in energy and infrastructure.
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