President Trump announced on Thursday that the United States would pull out of the Paris climate accord, an agreement made by 195 countries within the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Trumps’ decision could have devastating effects on the planet, as the US currently produces 13% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions (second only to China, which produces 20% of global emissions). To continue producing this much carbon dioxide could drive the world’s global temperature above 2 degrees celsius, a temperature marked as a ‘point of no return’ for the globe, and a situation we could be facing as soon as 2042.
How is the world reacting to this? So far, criticism of this decision is coming from all corners of the globe. Very few groups are in favor of the US leaving the accord.
Emmanuel Macron stood up to Trump when he announced that France, and the rest of the world, would remain in the Paris Agreement despite the United States’ decision.
Elon Musk wrote on Twitter that he will resign from the president’s council, saying he worked on two of Trump’s business-related councils in an effort to keep the United States in the Paris Agreement.
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg, an environmental activist who served as the Mayor of New York City for several years, pledged $15 million to the UNFCCC in order to give back some of the funding they will lose when the United States is no longer a member.
Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Google, Adobe, and Morgan Stanley, were among 12 countries to publish an advertisement in several US newspapers urging the president to stay in the accord.
The Empire State building, World Trade Center and City Hall in New York, the Wilson Building in Washington, Boston City Hall, Montreal City Hall and Paris City Hall are among numerous buildings to have been lit up green since Trump’s announcement in support of efforts to combat climate change.
Image source: Jerusalem Post
It’s ironic that Trump said he was “elected to represent the people of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” as even the Mayor of Pittsburgh tweeted that his city would acknowledge the Paris Agreement.
And Pittsburgh didn’t vote for Trump in the presidential election.
Perhaps worst of all for Trump, Ivanka Trump, his daughter, was not present at the announcement event. She reportedly fought him to keep the US in the Paris Accord.
Who supports his decision? So far, unsurprisingly, only Republicans have spoke out in favor of this decision.
Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said he applauds Trump’s blow to the Obama administration’s “assault on domestic energy production and jobs.” Newt Gringrich also Tweeted that the world’s dismay is only “further proof the deal was one sided and better for foreigners than US.”
By now we know that Trump’s speeches are not uplifting. They hold no reminders of Obama-era idealism and humility. When President Obama agreed to join the Paris Agreement in 2015, he spoke with integrity and well-meaning, with a vision that the world could unite under a common goal. Trump, instead, continued his rhetoric of fear mongering and nationalism. He managed to fit climate change into his narrative that the US has been exploited by other countries. This sort of address shows us that Trump’s agenda is no laughing matter. Ideas he promised that once seemed laughable (the wall, pulling out of the accord) are coming to fruition, despite the clamor of voices asking him to stop at every turn.