Donald Trump recently made the bold announcement that the US will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement that all countries around the world adopted in 2015. Although it was largely expected by many observers, it was still very disappointing news too many who constantly aim to protect the planet from the threat of climate change. Even more humiliating is the fact that the only two other countries made a withdrawal from the agreement – Syria and Nicaragua – which some consider humiliates the USA.
Even though climate change is a huge concern, some feel that withdrawal from the agreement has negatively impacted the US’s reputation worldwide.
Trumps reasoning behind this controversial decision was to fulfil is election pledge to reject the Paris agreement and instead focus on re-building the coal industries based in the US to grow the job market and decrease unemployment. Trump stated that he will continue to increase funding in the fossil fuel industry, which has resulted in considerable job losses over the years.
To be clear, this completely goes back on the Obama administrations climate change commitment. As a result, Trump reasons that it will result in more jobs for Americans.
Trump’s announcement in the Rose Garden
But the truth is that jobs in the fossil fuel industry have been influenced more by the market conditions, rather than government influence.
The truth is that the coal industry will continue to be hit and remain under substantial strain due to the fierce competition from North America’s abundant reserves of low-cost gas, as well as oil companies who plan on using Arctic oil reserves in the near future, which will further reduce the price, therefore making coal far less desirable. Additionally, the wind turbine industry is growing faster than ever and there re more jobs in the solar power industry than the coal sector.
In addition, locations such as California, one of the biggest economies in the world have their very own climate change rules which they will continue to pursue. This is true across the US too, with more than 20 states having a policy to drive the use of renewable electricity, and many have tax cuts on offer to those who support efforts to reduce emissions.
A particularly worrying thing to keep tabs on is the Trump administrations efforts to attempt to stop states with progressive climate change policies. This strategy has been insinuated by Mr Pruitt and Rick Perry, the energy secretary.
US Global Opinion
One of the biggest concerns for many is that this move makes the US look less credible and as a result impacting global relations. The majority of the countries allies haven’t praised the move and instead have made their opposition very clear.
“We deem the momentum generated in Paris in December 2015 irreversible and we firmly believe that the Paris agreement cannot be renegotiated, since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economies,” Germany’s Angela Merkel, France’s Emmanuel Macron and Italy’s Paolo Gentiloni said in statement made to condemn Trump.
In addition, the US’s closest Asian ally voiced by Koichi Yamamoto, Japan’s environment minister, stated: “I’m deeply disappointed by President Trump’s decision to turn his back on the hard-won wisdom of humanity.” embarrassing to say the least.
Many consider this move to have increased China’s credibility and influence in the world, especially considering that they are widely being publicised for their green initiatives, despite being world’s largest greenhouse gas producer.