Paris Climate Agreement: Confirming the apprehensions, US President Donald Trump on Thursday surprised the world when he announced that the United States would withdraw from the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement which seeks to safeguard the world from the increasingly disastrous impacts of climate change. “In order to fulfil my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord.” Trump, the leader of the world’s second biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, said in one of the most nervously-anticipated announcements ever. The US President said that he will begin negotiations to “re-enter” the Paris accord or “an entirely new transaction”, on “terms that are fair to the US, its businesses, its people, its taxpayers”.
Trump had publicly shown his displeasure with the Paris Agreement, more recently at the G7 Summit when Trump refused to support global effort to combat climate change. Interestingly, as US appears to be looking for a way out of the deal, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is believed to have told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that New Delhi would stick to the accord.
During his recent visit to Germany, PM Modi told Chancellor Merkel on Tuesday that India would stay in the Paris climate accord even if Trump administration decided to pull out, news agency Reuters reported sources as saying on Wednesday.
Here’s all you need to know about the Paris Climate Agreement:
What is Paris Climate Agreement
On December 12, 2015, parties to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) reached the landmark Paris Climate Agreement to “combat climate change and to accelerate and intensify the actions and investments needed for a sustainable low carbon future.”
Here are few salient features of the Paris Climate Agreement (according to UNFCC):
- For the first time, Paris Agreement brings all countries of the world into a common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects.
- Paris Agreement provides for enhanced support to assist developing countries deal with climate change and adapt to global warming, charting a “new course in the global climate effort”, says UNFCC.
- Main aim of Paris Agreement is to strengthen the global response to climate change threat. It wants to achieve that making attempts to keep a global temperature rise in 21st Century below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. It also aims to make efforts to limit temperature rise over 1.5 degrees Celsius.
- Paris Agreement also aims to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with climate change impact, and at “making finance flows consistent with a low GHG (Green House Gas) emissions and climate-resilient pathway.”
I will be announcing my decision on Paris Accord, Thursday at 3:00 P.M. The White House Rose Garden. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 1, 2017
- Paris Agreement aims to put in place a new technology framework and enhanced capacity-building, supporting action by developing countries and the most vulnerable countries, in line with their own national objectives.
- The Agreement also provides for an enhanced transparency framework for action and support.
- Paris Agreement calls upon all participating countries to put in their best efforts through “National Determined Contributions (NDCs).
- Paris Agreemenmt requires all parties to report regularly on their emission and on their implementation efforts.
- Paris Agreement also has a provision of global stocktake every five years to assess the collective progress.
- How many countries have ratified the Paris agreement
- Paris Agreement was opened for signature on April 22, 2016 (Earth Day) at the UN headquarters on New York. The accord came into force on November 4, 2016.
- The threshold for entry into the agreement was achieved on October 5, 2016. So far, 147 out of the total 197 parties to the Paris Convention have ratified the Agreement, according to UNFCC.
Why Donald Trump is against the Paris Climate Agreement
US President Donald Trump considers climate change a “hoax”. He had once tweeted that the concept of global warming was “created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive”.
During his first foreign trip that concluded recently, Trump was under immense pressure to uphold the Paris Agreement, not just from the world leaders but also Pope Francis. However, the efforts to persuade Trump failed. German Chancellor Merkel said it was “very unsatisfactory”.
How Trump pull out from Paris Agreement will affect this landmark global effort
If Trump pulls out of the accord, the US action would seriously undermine the landmark agreement signed by around 200 countries of the world to deal with Global Warming.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
The Guardian reports environmental activist and author Bill McKibben as saying it would be “an incredibly stupid decision” if Trump pulls out of the climate agreement. This may even isolate the US from its allies as well as most parts of the world. At present, US is the second-largest carbon polluter of the world. It is feared that US withdrawal from the accord would prompt countries like India and China to also withdraw. However, India PM Modi has assured India’s participation for the global cause.