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Quitting Paris: Trump’s Message to the World

Elana Wood

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There is concrete evidence that global warming is becoming a huge problem that our world has to face. The Paris Agreement is a collective attitude within the United Nations in which as of December 2015, 195 countries have signed to help mitigate climate change. From the year 2020 onwards, the goal was to significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming. Until recently (June 1st 2017) 195 countries have promised to make changes to better the environment, that is until the United-States (the 2nd largest polluter in the world) withdrew. Who was behind this decision? None other than the president elect: Mr. Trump.

What exactly does the U.S. quitting the agreement mean? Basically now that they have left, the U.S. does not have to follow any kind of guideline regarding its use of resources such as fossil fuels and coal, which highly pollute the environment. People argue the practicality and economic benefits of burning coal, however, within the agreement there is no ban on burning it, there are only regulations that follow its use.

It is frightening that a country with so much power has left the agreement. Worldwide retaliation and backlash have followed this action. France, Germany, and Italy rejected the American call to reopen climate talks. This, many are relieved about. Following this, 3 U.S. states (7 more in discussion) have joined the United States Climate Alliance in support of Trump. Business leaders: Elon Musk (executive chief of Tesla) and Robert Iger (CEO of Disney) left Trump’s advisory board following his decision about Paris. This has received a lot of media attention. Mr. Musk tweeted “climate change is real, leaving Paris is not good for America or the world”; he continued to say: “under Paris deal, China committed to produce as much clean electricity by 2030 as the US does from all sources today.” China is one of Trumps favourite countries to blame for global ailments, especially temperature rising.

This action is clearly a message from Trump to the rest of the world, instead of following the guidelines and committing, he wants to create his own rules. He has the financial benefit in mind, wanting to stay within the realm of the coal industry. He has since stated that the agreement is “unfair” and in order to “protect America” he would like to negotiate, and that possibly “an entirely new transaction will be formed.” Before his withdrawal, Trump had been put under immense stress to stay in the treaty, it was said that his former opinions against it were “evolving.” Trump has also publicly claimed that climate change and global warming are a “hoax.” It appears that he does not care what the rest of the world has to think.

 

Trump’s presidency has been no short of a whirlwind, even from before it started. It will be interesting (to say the least) to witness the rest of his decisions. It will also be interesting to hear of what “new transaction” he will come up with regarding his views on the environment. As the second largest polluter in the world, the actions of the U.S. will be impactful no matter the outcome.

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Quitting Paris: Trump’s Message to the World