The President of United States of America, Donald Trump has delivered on his vow to withdraw America from Paris Agreement. The President cited his concerns that the deal, which was named after the city in France where it was agreed upon and signed, was unfair to American interests. However, the President also suggested that he would seek to renegotiate a new deal.
The President said; “In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord but begin negotiations to reenter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers.”
The news means the US joins a very, very small list of countries which will not be supporting the accord. In fact, only two other countries are on it: Nicaragua and Syria. Of those two, Nicaragua actually declined its support because it felt the agreement was not, in fact, strong enough, and lacked suitable punishment for those who did not live up to what were criticized as voluntary pledges.
Repeating claims he had made previously, Trump argued that the Paris Agreement as it currently stood would hamper American industry. He accused it of potentially costing the US close to $3 trillion in lost gross domestic product (GDP), not to mention involve the sacrifice of 6.5 million industrial jobs. The US is the second-largest producer of greenhouse gases; President Trump has previously accused China of inventing climate change as a “hoax”.
What is Paris Agreement?
The Paris accord was first agreed upon in December 2015. The deal unites all the world’s nations in a single agreement on tackling climate change for the first time in history as nearly 200 countries come to consensus on the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
- To keep global temperatures “well below” 2.0C (3.6F) above pre-industrial times and “endeavour to limit” them even more, to 1.5C
- To limit the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity to the same levels that trees, soil and oceans can absorb naturally, beginning at some point between 2050 and 2100
- To review each country’s contribution to cutting emissions every five years so they scale up to the challenge
- For rich countries to help poorer nations by providing “climate finance” to adapt to climate change and switch to renewable energy.
Global Reactions so far….
“We deem the momentum generated in Paris in December 2015 irreversible and we firmly believe that the Paris Agreement cannot be renegotiated, since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economies,” said chancellor Angela Merkel, president Emmanuel Macron and prime minister Paolo Gentiloni.
“I tell you firmly tonight: We will not renegotiate a less ambitious accord. There is no way. Don’t be mistaken on climate; there is no plan B because there is no planet B.” .. Emmanuel Macron
“Mexico maintains its support and commitment to the Paris agreement to stop the effects of global climate change.”—Enqrique Peña Nieto
“Climate change requires a concerted effort by the whole of the international community. Japan believes the leadership of the developed countries to be of great importance, and the steady implementation of the Paris agreement is critical in this regard. The recent announcement by the US administration on its withdrawal … is regrettable.” Japan’s foreign ministry
“It’s as if they’ve turned their back on the wisdom of humanity.” Koichi Yamamoto, Japanese environment minister
“We believe that the targets we agreed to, the 26% to 28% reduction in emissions by 2030 on 2005 levels are reasonable, are achievable.”—Josh Frydenberg (Australia),
“China will stay committed to upholding and promoting the global governance on climate change, and take an active part in the multilateral process on climate change,” Hua Chunying, foreign ministry spokesperson
“Withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement is bad for the environment, bad for the economy, and it puts our children’s future at risk. For our part, we’ve committed that every new data center we build will be powered by 100% renewable energy. Stopping climate change is something we can only do as a global community, and we have to act together before it’s too late.”Mark Zuckerberg
“We all live on a small planet and every nation needs to work with others to protect it. ” Microsoft’s president Brad Smith
“Withdrawing from the #ParisAgreement will be devastating to our planet. Paris and Pittsburgh share the same environment after all. ” Astronaut Scott Kelly
“We believe that continued U.S. participation benefits U.S. businesses and the economy in important and multiple ways. A global framework strengthens competitiveness for American businesses. It creates new markets for innovative clean technologies, from green power to smart grids to cloud-enabled solutions. And by strengthening global action over time, the Agreement reduces future climate damage to people and organizations around the world.”–Amazon
“Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.” – Elon Musk (@elonmusk)
“We’re disappointed with the decision to exit the Paris Agreement. Microsoft remains committed to doing our part to achieve its goals.”
– Brad Smith (@BradSmi)
Disappointed with today’s decision on the Paris Agreement. Climate change is real. Industry must now lead and not depend on government.
– Jeff Immelt (@JeffImmelt)
Climate action is not a burden, but an unprecedented opportunity
Erik Solheim, head of UNEP
“IBM has stated its position on climate change publicly since 2007: Climate change is a serious concern that warrants meaningful action on a global basis to stabilize the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gas emissions.
“Climate change is an international problem that requires an international solution, and we believe it is important for the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Therefore IBM supported — and still supports — U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement. This agreement requires all participating countries to put forward their best efforts on climate change as determined by each country. IBM believes that it is easier to lead outcomes by being at the table, as a participant in the agreement, rather than from outside it.
“Whether the U.S. participates in the Paris Agreement or not, IBM will continue its decades-long work to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions and will continue to help our clients do so as well.” IBM Policy