Could The U.S. Paris Agreement Withdrawal Propel Global Attitudes?

By: Aaron Miller @lunarfifth

The implications of the Trump administration to leave the Paris Agreement may have prolonged effects on the overall disposition of global commitments. How are these decisions going to influence the perspectives of other countries? Especially other major contributors to global carbon emissions? Find out contrasting viewpoints and reflect on the issues facing this complicated topic by reading more.

Many of us have been reminded recently just how committed President Trump is to his original announcement in 2017. That the U.S. will officially be leaving the Paris Agreement approximately one year from now. The president re-advocated to the public that the U.S. will formally withdraw from the agreement beginning November 5th of 2020. Supporters of the decision are ready to discuss other potential solutions to move forward with, while critics of this direction are concerned about the possible negative effects on the environment this may generate.

The Paris Agreement is a collaborative international approach to addressing global pollution and aims to reduce overall global temperatures.

The main goal of the agreement is to serve as a commitment for member countries of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to reduce the economic activities which cause global greenhouse gases. And ultimately aim to prevent rising ocean levels, severe weather, and possibly unfavorable climate conditions for future generations.

This unique agreement is also noteworthy, as no other time in history has an international effort as comprehensive as the Paris Agreement been proposed, and set in motion for the purpose of maintaining and protecting our global climates.

Back in 2015, a total of 196 state parties signed the Paris Agreement, including the U.S. which was largely in awareness of being the world’s second most producers of carbon emissions. China and India are other leading producers of carbon emissions, and were a notable addition to the agreement. At least 10 other countries such as Turkey, Iraq, and Iran are yet to officially accept the agreement.

Although there is a discussion of the negative consequences that these actions could imply, there is also growing implications that this could lead ultimately to the re-negotiation of certain terms within the Paris Agreement for the United States. Back in 2017, at a live press conference, the President stated “So, we’re getting out. But, we will 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.”

Why Did Trump Reportedly Leave The Paris Agreement?

Despite the terms of the Paris Agreement being first accepted in 2015 by the Obama administration, President Trump began the process of formally withdrawing the U.S. from the agreement.

At a live press conference on October 23rd of this year, the president stated, “…It would have been so bad for our country, they were taking away our wealth. It was almost as though it was meant to hurt the… competitiveness of the United States, so we did away with that one.” He went on to state, “The Paris Accord would have been a giant transfer of American wealth to foreign nations that are responsible for most of the world’s pollution.”

There are many different reasons from the president as to the unfairness of the agreement to the U.S. But the presidential administration’s most apparent reasoning for the decision to withdraw has been centered around the topic of commerce and business.

According to the president, there is a further need for the agreement to be met “…on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers.”

However, the president’s concerns do also appear to be concerned about environmental factors, as well. He went on to state that “…Our air right now, and our water right now, is as clean as it’s been in decades… The Paris Accord would have been shutting down American producers with excessive, regulatory restrictions like you would not believe, while allowing foreign producers to pollute with impunity; they were allowed to do what they were doing.”

So on Monday, November 4th, the presidential administration formally began the process by notifying the United Nations of the United States’ intention to withdraw from the agreement. This will mean that the United States will officially not be a part of The Paris Agreement beginning on November 5th, just one day after the 2020 presidential election.

What Do Critics Say Of The U.S. Leaving The Paris Agreement?

The concerns brought forth by the proponents of the Paris Agreement, in response to the decision for the U.S. to abandon the accord, are largely considering the potential environmental impacts that prolonged increasing emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon, may have on global temperatures and water levels.

This is a serious concern that the world community believes would threaten the global ability to respond to drastic environmental shifts. Due to the fact that the U.S. is among the leading contributors of carbon emissions, it was originally seen as a sign of diplomacy for the U.S. to take the step in adopting the Paris Agreement.

However, there are signs that the Trump administration is not only concerned about the economical practicality of the agreement, but also the environmental aspects, as well. Trump went on to state “I’m proud that today the United States is among the very cleanest air and drinking water on Earth, anywhere on Earth, and we’re going to keep it that way…”

This could be seen as a gesture of commitment towards the overall goals that the accord aims to accomplish, as many environmental protectors would at least hope for. However, it may also continue to truly expose a differing of opinions between the presidential administration and environmentally progressive groups.

As the science for global warming is becoming a central topic for the UNFCCC, many of the countries near the Pacific have committed towards reducing the net zero carbon emissions by the year 2050. These sorts of ambitious goals would require world leading countries to adopt progressive energy solutions and cleaner overall industrial activities.

With that in mind, there have been ongoing discussions as to the best steps that the U.S. can take to move forward with global environmental efforts.

How Does Trump Plan To Move Forward After The Paris Agreement?

The Trump administration is proud to note a leveling-off and slight reduction in U.S. carbon emissions during the first year of his presidency. However, there are many other factors that might have also contributed to those results.

In any case, there is a growing correspondence that would agree that there is a need for businesses and the government to be concerned with the environmental impacts of carbon emissions and greenhouse gases.

Even since the formal announcement for the U.S. to officially abandon the Paris Agreement, there have already been several U.S. cities to begin the process of adopting their own environmental commitment goals, which aim to reduce overall carbon emissions.

President Barack Obama’s commitment towards the Paris Agreement included nearly a 30 percent reduction in emission levels from 2005 levels by the year 2025. If the U.S. was to fully relinquish all responsibilities set forth previously in the agreement, it would be roughly an estimated 15% of global carbon emissions left unchecked by proactive measures to protect the environment.

The Trump administration has effectively maintained environmental issues as a main focus by taking this bold action towards ending the U.S. involvement with the Paris Agreement. The next steps would be to enact a plan for retaining the proactive spirit that the original administration who adopted the agreement had.

Trump has continued to ruffle feathers in the environmentally proactive communities, as Todd Stern, the former chief climate negotiator during the Obama administration states, “That it was crazy for… President Trump to do this.”

Does The Paris Agreement Still Hold As Much Weight?

Many of the proponents who advocate for the Paris Agreement, are committed to maintaining the environmental conditions for future generations. However, as the United States’ pledge becomes obsolete, growing concerns for reduced global involvement is more and more becoming a topic to consider.

Back in 2013, each member part of the agreement was required to submit their “intended nationally determined contributions” (INDCs) in advance to the Paris Agreement.

Depending on a country’s status within the global community, there were different requirements intended to be followed within the agreement. These factors centered around whether a country is considered “developed” or “developing” and maintained that upon original ratification of the agreement, the first intended INDCs from each member were submitted.

This agreement not only gives a blueprint on how the global economies could reduce overall carbon emissions, but also how to mitigate issues that arose along the way. This involved penalties for not meeting certain criteria, and these penalties are among the first to be discussed as possibly being reduced or eliminated.

Critics speculate that the United State’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement confirms suspicion that the Trump administration is solely concerned with bolstering profits for certain big industries. Experts have pointed out that technically, the U.S. is still qualified as a ‘party’ to the agreement. According to David Waskow, a climate policy expert at the nonprofit World Resources Institute, “The United States is still what’s referred to as a ‘party’ to the agreement…

They’ve continued to be extremely engaged in the negotiations,” in reference to delegates sent to the annual UN climate summits.

Is Discount Dumpster Committed to Environmental Sustainability?

The environment is a critically important aspect for everyone, and everyone can agree that future generations deserve just as clean air, water, and living conditions that we have gotten to enjoy as various societies. As time goes on, there will always be an ever-increasing need to improve processes and in general, just make things work better, in order to simply maintain these levels of equilibrium that we have built and enjoyed as a species.

This is why Discount Dumpster is just as committed to environmental protection as you are. With cutting edge resources and a dedicated, professionally trained team, we take all regulations and implied processes very seriously.

As time goes on, there will most certainly be ongoing lasting effects brought forth from the president’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement. We hope our country will step in the right direction for the global environmental relief efforts, as ongoing and committed discussions are underway for practical solutions.

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