Our American president, Donald Trump, has been on a environmental rampage, retracting the hard work of his predecessors to protect public lands. The protests to protect our threatened national monuments was just the beginning of the outcry that has been heard around the globe.
On June 1st, president Trump announced that he would be pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement. The president has made it publicly known that he is a climate change denier and has removed sections of the Environmental Protection Agency’s website that were in any way related to the subject. He believes that in pulling out of the worldwide agreement to reduce carbon emissions, he is benefiting our country.
The agreement was made in 2015, when 195 countries came together to set goals to reduce global greenhouse gases in an attempt to minimize the human impact on rising global temperatures. The United States is the number one emitter of greenhouse gases.
Trump expressed in a news conference that he felt the agreement took away jobs from Americans and threatened our economy. He painted a picture during the news conference of “shuttered factories”, rising unemployment, home foreclosures and imminent economic depression as a result of entering into the agreement, which he blamed on former president Obama. Trump assumes that the reduction of greenhouse emissions means that Americans would no longer be allowed to continue with “business as usual.”
He made a point to mention the number of jobs that would be lost that contribute to high CO2 emissions, such as the coal and manufacturing industries. However, he failed to mention the possibility of spike in available alternative energy and “green collar” jobs. He tried to claim that China and India will be allowed to continue to grow and outrun us until 2030, but the targets set by both countries are projected to be met well before their target deadline due to their investments in renewable energies.
He also pointed fingers at the $1 billion of a promised $3 billion contribution made by the United States to the Green Climate Fund as a frivolous cost. The Green Climate Fund would help propel developments in countries that can benefit from financial aid to drive their innovations of low-emission energy technologies. The remaining agreed upon donation of $2 billion was not included Trump’s budget proposal.
As with most governmental rulings, it will take some time to move into effect. The United States will not be pulled from the agreement until November of 2020. Just as Obama was able to enter into the agreement without consulting and the approval of congress, Trump has made the executive order to withdraw. A key point to remember is that everything in the agreement is completely voluntary, so Trump withdrawing was more about causing a scene than actually committing to make detrimental change to our environmental laws.
He was heard loud and clear in the commotion that he made and is seeing responses across the nation. Numerous cities and companies are taking it upon themselves to set their own standards to adhere to the agreement in protest. We will be highlighting some of the environmental do-gooders in our upcoming series of those that are retaliating against Trump exiting the Paris Climate Agreement.