Paris Agreement

Trump’s Withdrawal from Climate Change Paris Agreement

CSS Current Affairs 2019 Question: What are the Reasons & Impacts of Donald Trump’s withdrawal from Climate Change Paris Agreement 2015?

Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing the world today. It is responsible for the increase in extreme weather conditions and unbroken series of hottest years on record. The Paris Agreement (Accord de Paris) is a global agreement on climate change signed on December 2015. It is an agreement within UN Framework Conventions on Climate Change dealing with extreme weather and adaptations starting in 2020.

Aim of Paris Agreement

Paris Agreement aims to strengthen global response to threats of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and make efforts to limit the temperature increase further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It aims to increase ability of countries to deal with impacts of climate changes.

Withdrawal of Trump from Paris Agreement

In June 2017, Donald Trump sent shock waves to international community by announcing withdrawal from Climate Change Paris Agreement. During presidential campaign, Trump vowed to back out from Paris Agreement once he got elected. Following his win, Trump withdrawn from Paris Agreement and stated that he is open-minded person and doesn’t believe man-made changes in the climate. Trump’s decision to back out has drawn strong criticism from the world. But what could be the reasons of Trump withdrawal from Paris agreement?

Causes of withdrawal from Paris Agreement

  1. Trump’s administration is closely linked to fossil fuel industry. Once US withdraw from Paris Agreement, Trump’s administration will seek reverse climate regulations to benefit energy companies.
  2. Political and social issues strengthened Trump’s withdrawal decision. Trump announces the exit, hoping that it would help him in next elections.
  3. Trump is doubtful of climate change and refuses to acknowledge fundamental principle of global climate change.
  4. Due to Trump’s extreme views on Paris Agreement, this will weaken the US competitive edge and damage employment and traditional energy industries.
  5. Trump holds personal rancor against Obama and decides to roll back most of his policies after he took the office.

Consequences of leaving Paris Agreement

  1. Withdrawal of US from Paris Agreement will impact the climate governance. US is becoming a consumer rather than support supplier of responses to global climate governance. Conversion of US from consumer to supplier will weaken the supply of global goods and affect willingness of suppliers.
  2. Withdrawal opposes sustainable development, denying climate policy of former President Obama will harm the international image of US as a responsible country. Withdrawal will further break up the confidence of alliance between US and EU.
  3. Support on fossil fuel sector could lead to short lived prosperity. But the coal industry of US is overloaded. Environmental issues could cause the coal industry to lose its competitiveness.
  4. From strategic aspect, climate cooperation between Sino-US will be weakened. It will negatively affect science and technology cooperation between China and US.
  5. Withdrawal will affect areas that will face financial cuts include ocean and space monitoring and greatly affect climate change and scientific research.

Conclusion

Trump’s withdrawal decision was mainly driven by US politics and his personal preferences rather than any burdens imposed by the Paris Agreement. Unpredictability remains regarding what can be achieved with climate deregulation.

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