Our View | Withdrawl from Paris Treaty destroys U.S. climate credibility

On June 1, 2017, President Donald Trump said something that rocked the environmentalists to their core. As of today, the United States will cease all implementation” of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Although this was not news to the world since Trump announced the day he was elected that he would leave the Paris Agreement, calling it “horrible, costly and one-sided,” it was still rattling hear an official statement. 

In Paris on Dec. 12, 2015, the UNFCCC came to an agreement to accelerate their actions to get closer to a low carbon future. At this time nearly 200 countries signed onto the agreement. Wealthy countries like the United States even agreed to help pay for the costs associated with climate change for the developing countries. 

The goal of the agreement is to “strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius,” the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reported.

Upon entry, each country makes a national pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions  as well as setting its own goals. The agreement also requires that all parties in the pact “report regularly on their emissions and on their implementation efforts.” 

The United States signed on initially with other countries in 2015, but will officially be out of the agreement on Nov. 4, 2020, making it the only country to pull out of the pact. This is very ironic because the United States is the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases and the only nation to abandon the global effort to combat climate change. 

Since the pact was created, many international superpowers, including Brazil, China, Japan and India have experienced political or economical turmoil, but none of these countries have withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement. 

 Although it takes two years to officially be removed from the Agreement, the Agreement was designed so a party can rejoin within 30 days after they leave. This means that in 2020, if Trump leaves the White House and a new administration takes his place, the next president could make it possible for the United States to quickly rejoin. 

“We will continue to work with our global partners to enhance resilience to the impacts of climate change and prepare for and respond to natural disasters,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. 

This statement contradicts the action the United States took by stating that they will be exiting the Paris Climate Agreement. On top of that, instead of having a set of guidelines and steps to follow to reach a certain goal, the  United States now does not have a set goal in writing, and their steps can be very subjective to who is in charge and what his or her view is. 

By the  United States leaving the Paris Climate Agreement it makes the statement that political values/views and money are more important than collaborating with other nations, the world’s future, the safety of the Earth, humans, plants and animals and life itself.

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