Why I worry about President Trump’s exit from the Paris Agreement

15 Jun

It is no secret that the global environment scenario faced a massive setback earlier in June. Apparently, the US president thinks that his responsibility as a leader doesn’t extend beyond the boundaries of his own nation. While talking about his decision to go against international well-being for “national good” President Trump said, “I am the representative of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”

Trump believes that getting jobs back for coal miners is a better way of securing the future of his nation than investing in resources for global environmental protection, even though his own country is one of the worst affected. One is not surprised by the Republican Party’s conservative approach on most subjects, but when a Grand Old Party (GoP) panelist goes on record to say that “extinction and global warming is all fanaticism by the left,” I think that there is a lot to be worried about.

The Paris Agreement has been a part of the United Nation’s attempt to curb global warming by controlling greenhouse emissions in member states. The problem which arises now is that the second biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world has just backed out from the most extensive treaty to help keep the environment alive.

And that’s not where the problem ends. Just a couple of months back Scott Pruitt said that he was “not convinced that Carbon dioxide is a main driver of climate change” and that the US Congress should weigh in on whether Carbon dioxide emissions should be regulated. Yes, that is the head of the US Environmental Protection Agency; basically, the body keeping a check on environmental pollution in the US.

So, what is happening is that GoP representatives, in an effort to lobby multibillion-dollar oil companies, and secure votes from the working class (consisting of a huge majority of miners and manufacturing sector workers), have mostly advocated against recognizing Carbon emissions as a threat. Now, the majority party is working to keep up with its unrealistic job security promises while turning its back on the population’s basic right to clean air and water.

President Trump’s main argument for exiting from the Paris agreement is that it would cost the US job market ‘billions of dollars’. The truth, however, is that the job market he is talking about revolves around miners and oil production, and the ‘billions of dollars’ is the backing his party would lose from big oil, if the government cuts on emissions. Trump’s administration justifies this stance by, in the words of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology administration, “cherry picking MIT’s stats”. It all points toward the same thing, the US had no solid reason to leave accords at a time when the doomsday clock is ticking 59.

It helps no one and is nothing more or less than power play and corruption.

It was surprising that Trump announced the US exit from the accord which had been signed by more than 190 nations. In fact, only two countries have not signed the agreement so far; one is Syria, which is suffering from ongoing civil war, while the other is Nicaragua, one of the poorest countries in the world.

And that’s sad, how one of the greatest counties in the world doesn’t stand for anything it used to; how the pioneers of international alliances and global well-being have fallen into traps of self-centered misery.


By Aniketh Khutia

The author is a student of DPS, Ruby Park, Kolkata, and participated in the Knowledge@Wharton High School Global Young Leaders Academy, 2016. The views expressed in this blog are the author’s own.

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