Decades From Now, Will Trump's Paris Decision Matter?

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The Paris climate agreement was supposed to prevent average global temperatures from rising another 1.5 or 2 degrees Celsius by having countries voluntarily set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. 

But Radley Horton, a Columbia University research scientist and a member of the New York City Panel on Climate Change, says that all the pledges collected in Paris were voluntary. Many people believe that even if countries meet their targets for emissions reductions, it still won't be enough to keep temperatures down.

Horton also notes that the United States could very well meet the goals it set in the Paris agreement, even though Trump has decided to withdraw from it. The bigger danger, he says, is that the president's decision could weaken the resolve of growing economies like India and Malaysia to stick to their Paris pledges. 

So how could this decision affect the climate by 2050? Horton shares his outlook with WNYC's Richard Hake.