The U.S. Exits the Paris Climate Agreement

By Nathalie Del Valle

On Thursday, June 1, President Trump announced that the United States would be exiting the Paris Climate Agreement.  The Paris Agreement includes every country around the world except Nicaragua and Syria. Now, the U.S. will be part of this list as well.

“As of today, 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,” said President Trump.

The United States is the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, The exit from the pact will highly affect the goal of limiting global warming to below a 2-degree Celsius rise above preindustrial temperatures.

The reasoning Trump gave for the withdrawal of the pact was that the it would diminish the opportunities of American workers. He claimed that the rest of the world approved the pact because it left the U.S. at an economic disadvantage.

“A cynic would say the obvious reason for economic competitors and their wish to see us remain in the agreement is so that we continue to suffer the self-inflicted, major economic wound,” Trump continued to say.

However, all hope is not lost. Many private companies will still continue to execute their climate-friendly regulations. This includes restricting greenhouse gas emissions as well as pursuing new policies that protect the environment.

The pact was seen as a diplomatic achievement by former President Barack Obama. It brought almost the entire world together in an effort to better the global climate.

In addition, Trump said he would terminate Obama’s promised payment of “tens of billions of dollars” to the Green Climate Fund. It is an international program whose goal is helping poor countries cope with climate change.

Obama responded to Trump’s announcement by saying that “even in the absence of American leadership; even as this administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got”.

Foreign leaders in the agreement are dismayed by Trump’s decision to exit the pact as they fear for the fate of the planet.

“Eighty-three countries run into danger of disappearing from the surface of the Earth if we don’t resolutely start the fight against climate change,” said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Due to Trump’s withdrawal, Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk and Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger reacted by announcing they would stop participating in White House advisory councils.

Other foreign leaders expressed their concerns, including, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, French President Emmanuel Macron, and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

“He is making a mistake for the future of his country and his people and a mistake for the future of the planet,” Macron said.

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