U.S. Backs Out of Paris Accord: A Win for Trump and a Loss for America

After a week of suspense, like he was plugging a failing TV show, President Trump finally announced his decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord. The climate change agreement was negotiated and signed by President Obama and 195 other leaders in December 2015 [1]. The agreement was made to combat climate change and curb the rising threat to our planet. President Trump and the U.S. join the greatly advanced nations of Nicaragua and Syria in staying out of the agreement. Syria is in the midst of civil war and Nicaragua felt the agreement didn’t go far enough to punish those that didn’t comply. So Trump is the only one that is still denying the threat of human-influenced climate change. Cool.

So what is the Paris Accord? The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change crafted the plan that laid out steps and tactics for each country to do its part in controlling the global threat. The document contains many key goals, including: Limit the average global rise in temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius (nearly impossible at this point), financially assist developing countries to abandon fossil fuels (I can think of some rich people that wouldn’t like that), and an eventual net zero greenhouse gas emissions (removing from atmosphere to cancel out expected emissions) [2]. The agreement signed has no legal bindings and does not punish those that don’t contribute. Each country is responsible for setting and meeting their own goals and guidelines. It’s a pretty open policy with no way to lose. That is, of course, unless you back out…

There are a lot of positive outcomes to the Paris agreement; any steps to address climate change can’t be a bad thing. But still, people opposed are not doing it for the right reasons. I’ll look past the obvious pseudo-political stance of “ignoring” climate change for this part. It’s clear that the only people that stand to lose from climate change efforts are large corporations, especially fossil fuels. And who do you think pays the Republicans? Large corporations and fossil fuels conglomerates! Almost all of the Republicans that urged Trump to withdraw from the agreement are heavily funded by oil and gas companies [3]. But no big deal, I guess.

President Trump continues to pursue his “America First” promises (when he wants to) by claiming the Paris Accord is harmful to the American people [4]. And it is. Backing out of the agreement is a disaster for citizens. By refusing the call to shifting to renewable energy and controlling our emissions, the United States is going to fall (further) behind. Trump wants you to believe that the United States is obligated to pay “tens of billions” to the agreement, when actually we have offered $3B and are NOT legally obligated to do so. The U.S. is paying less than $10 per person, while other countries are paying several times more per capita [5]. He tells you that the Paris Accord will put unfair strains on the American economy and citizens. When ACTUALLY, each country designs their own courses of action and goals. And the only companies that are being hurt are the ones that are hurting the environment.

Renewable energy is set to become a trillion dollar industry that will create millions of lasting jobs. Now, the United States is going to be the only country not making the necessary investment into the growing industry. But you know who will be making the investment? China. Trump claims he doesn’t like China, but he sure is helping them get ahead. After the President complained about China’s plan to open 100 new coal facilities, they cancelled the plan and decided to invest in renewable energies [6]. Because now they are winning. China will reap the benefits economically and environmentally while the United States is left in the smog.

Aside from the apparent political disadvantages we now face, we are neglecting the demise of our planet. It wasn’t just a big deal that every country in the United Nations agreed on something, it’s that it came at a time where it needed to be done. World leaders recognized that we are running out of time to control climate change and we are reaching a point where irreversible damage will be done with no turning back.

President Trump ended his statements about withdrawing from the Paris Accord with hopes of renegotiating the deal. He’s a pro at making deals, as you have probably heard him say, so he can definitely get the United States better outcome. NOPE. Leaders from the top countries involved have publicly said the Paris Accord cannot be renegotiated by request of one country. The agreement had nothing to renegotiate anyway, it’s all domestic policy driven!

Thankfully, domestic leaders are taking a stand and keeping the promises of the agreement. Across the country, mayors, governors, and legislators are vowing their support and dedication to the United States moving forward. Just because money is buying positions for conservative lawmakers to carry out the fuel fossil agenda doesn’t mean we have to let it happen. Every time something like this happens and it is revealed that money from large corporations is running the country into the ground, we all look the other way. We can only ignore this part of the problem for so long before it’s too late.

Written By: CJ Wilcox (@CJWilcox7)

1: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/01/climate/trump-paris-climate-agreement.html

2: http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/06/01/531048986/so-what-exactly-is-in-the-paris-climate-accord

3: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/01/republican-senators-paris-climate-deal-energy-donations

4: http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/01/politics/trump-paris-climate-decision/index.html

5: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/02/climate/trump-paris-green-climate-fund.html

6: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/world/asia/china-coal-power-plants-pollution.html

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed by this writer are solely his own. They do not necessarily reflect the views of Couch Guy Sports, affiliates, or other contributors. Yeah, I’m surprised I can get away with it too.

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