In what is detrimental to global need, US President Trump made it clear to differ in a way that seems to have sought down the urgency or priority of a global concord on climate issue.
Recently, he said “the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country. We’re getting out but we’ll start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair. And if we can, that’s great. And if we can’t, that’s fine.”
Primarily his stance is driven by the dream he dispensed – “America First” Policy. “In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris accord for an entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States.” For Trump’s core voter base, the move was probably perceived in very positive terms, generating a belief that the president’s announcement certainly aligns with his “America First” campaign slogan.
And to validate his stand he identified several sectors of the American economy that would lose jobs and paychecks if the United States stays in the accord — 2.7 million jobs by 2025.
The reality is that leaving the accord will neither bring back jobs nor help the taxpayer, but will most certainly hurt the United States and the world.
His predecessor Obama, whose stand on Paris Agreement and climate change Trump chose differ with, clarified, “the nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created”.
And as Trump opens a door for renegotiation, the heads of the major global states have shut door on such possibility. British Prime Minister Theresa May, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni, among many other heads of state expressed their refusal to return to the drawing board.
So, Even if US could renegotiate, it cannot “reenter” the Paris agreement until the end of 2019 since the treaty requires that any party wishing to leave wait three years from when the agreement came into force in November 2016.
Once withdrawal is initiated, it takes another year of negotiations before the process is complete. This means that the US will essentially remain in the agreement for the remainder of Trump’s current term as president.
Trump’s idea of unfairness seems equally puzzling since the agreement is nonbinding in nature. Each party determines its own targets, which under the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama had been set for a 26 to 28 percent reduction in emissions from 2005 levels by 2025 and would have been achieved through the closing down coal-fired power plants and the setting up of new wind and solar capacity.
Trump began the process of rolling back Obama-era climate regulations in March, which would mean an emissions reduction of only 15 to 19 percent from 2005 levels by 2025. In case the stated contribution announced by Obama seems far too much, even resetting the target to a lower standard would have proved to be a wise move that entirely pulling out of the agreement.
Trump also considers US’s financial contributions to the Green Climate Fund unfair, to which industrialized countries have voluntarily pledged $10 billion since 2013 to help low-income countries curtail their carbon footprint and adapt to the effects of climate change. But if the US were to fulfill its original $3 billion commitment to the fund, this would amount to $9.41 per capita, making it only the 11th most generous contributor.
But Trump plans to halt contributions to the fund entirely, only allowing for the $1 billion already delivered under Obama. So, the US will commit roughly $3 per capita, ranking second from the bottom, a bit above South Korea at $2 per capita.
Currently, US, with about 5,414 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, stands only next to China which emits about 10,357 million metric tons per year. Thus US accounts for about 14 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, with China the largest emitter at 30 percent, followed by the European Union at ten percent and India at seven percent. But climate change is a function of atmospheric concentrations, and when looking at cumulative emissions since 1850, the United States is first with 29 percent of the total, then the EU with 27 percent, and finally China and Russia with eight percent each.
So, all in all, Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement is not devoid of farsightedness, rather it is more with it for all the wrong reasons.
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