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article imageTrump notifies UN of intention to withdraw from Paris agreement

By Tim Sandle     Nov 5, 2019 in Environment
World leaders and environmental groups have reacted with a mix of anger and dismay as Donald Trump has signalled the U.S.'s intention to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement.
The notification issued by the U.S. puts in motion a process that will take around 12 months, after which the U.S. will have exited from the global climate change accord (which the U.S. had originally agreed to in 2015 and signed up to in 2016, along with 188 other nations). Perhaps deliberately, and certainly symbolically the date for the U.S.'s exit coincides with the day after the 2020 U.S. election (an election that Trump has set his sites on winning and even if he does not succeed, his replacement will face having to re-negotiate the U.S.'s position).
The argument put forward by the U.S. government is one of short-termism, noting that the Paris accord puts an "unfair economic burden" on Americans (a view echoed by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo). However, bigger picture shows that the U.S. ranks as second on the list of the world's major polluters, behind China. the U.S. contributes 5,414 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, equivalent to approximately 15 percent of the global emissions of carbon dioxide (China contributes 10,357 million metric tons per year; third on the list comes India at 2,274 million metric tons).
The decision by the U.S. government has been met with near-universal international condemnation, according to the BBC. The decision places the U.S. as an outcast, becoming the world's only non-signatory. Despite the U.S. being out on a limb, the Institute of International and European Affairs are concerned that President Trump's much reported decision has already done "very real damage" to the Paris agreement, in terms of fostering a "moral and political cover for others to follow suit". In other words, the Paris agreement could begin to disintegrate.
Stop Global Warming sign surrounded by snow.
Stop Global Warming sign surrounded by snow.
AgnosticPreachersKid (CC BY-SA 3.0)
The 2016 Paris Climate Agreement has the intention of tackling several issues connected to global warming, focusing foremost on reducing greenhouse-gas-emissions. The primary target is to limit the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, with the ideal target to limit temperature increases to below 1.5°C.
Many U.S. business and organizations, green groups and a sizeable number of citizens do not accept the decision made by the governing Republican Party. Groups like the We Are Still In movement have pledged to cut emissions and move to renewable energy, aiming to play their part in meeting the objectives of the Paris agreement.
Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic speaker of the House, has condemned Donald Trump's move as a "disastrous decision that sells out our children's future".
More about Climate change, Donald trump, unuted nations, paris agreement
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