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US back to Paris Protocol

Published : Thursday, 24 December, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 166
Zillur Rahaman

US back to Paris Protocol

US back to Paris Protocol

The Paris Agreement is a landmark environmental pact that was adopted by nearly every nation in 2015 to address climate change and its negative impacts. The deal aims to substantially reduce global greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to limit the global temperature increase in this century to 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels, while pursuing means to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees. The pact provides a pathway for developed nations to assist developing nations in their climate mitigation and adaptation efforts, and it creates a framework for the transparent monitoring, reporting, and ratcheting up of countries' individual and collective climate goals.

During withdrawing from the agreement, Trump stated that "The Paris accord will undermine the US economy," and puts the US at a permanent disadvantage." Trump also stated that the withdrawal would be in accordance with his America First policy.

In accordance with Article 28 of the Paris Agreement, a country cannot give notice of withdrawal from the agreement before three years of its start date in the relevant country, which was on November 4, 2016 in the case of the United States. The White House later clarified that the US will abide by the four-year exit process. On November 4, 2019, the Trump administration gave a formal notice of intention to withdraw, which takes 12 months to take effect. Until the withdrawal took effect, the United States was obligated to maintain its commitments under the Agreement, such as the requirement to continue reporting its emissions to the United Nations. The withdrawal took effect on November 4, 2020, one day after the 2020 US presidential election.

While celebrated by some members of the Republican Party, international reactions to the withdrawal were overwhelmingly negative from across the political spectrum, and the decision received substantial criticism from religious organizations, businesses, political leaders of all parties, environmentalists, scientists and citizens from the United States. Following Trump's announcement, the governors of several states formed the United States Climate Alliance to continue to advance the objectives of the Paris Agreement at the state level despite the federal withdrawal. As of July 1, 2019, 24 states, American Samoa, and Puerto Rico have joined the alliance, and similar commitments have also been expressed by other state governors, mayors, and businesses.

Trump's withdrawal from the Paris agreement will impact other countries by reducing its financial aid to the Green Climate fund. The termination of the $3 billion US funding will ultimately impact climate change research and decrease society's chance of reaching the Paris Agreement goals, as well as omit US contributions to the future IPCC reports. Trump's decision will also affect the carbon emission space as well as the carbon price. The US's withdrawal will also mean that the spot to take over the global climate regime will be obtainable for China and the EU.

A decrease in funds by the US will lessen the chances of being able to reach the Paris Agreement goals. In addition, the US was responsible for more than 50 per cent of the papers references for climate change in 2015. Trump's termination of its funding to the Green Climate Fund can also have an impact on underdeveloped countries that are in need of that aid for their climate change projects.

Newly elected President Joe Biden vowed to rejoin the Paris Agreement on his first 100 days in office. Biden said he will bring the US back into the accord as early as February. However, nearly every country in the world is part of the agreement and of the 195 countries that signed the agreement, 189 countries officially adopted the accord, and no other country besides the US has abandoned it.

Since the US is of the biggest economies in the world and has contributed the most to climate change, it is incredibly important that the US return to the Paris agreement. The pact is a nonbinding agreement among nations to reduce emissions and keep the increase in global temperatures well below 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, compared with preindustrial levels. The US is among the most significant emitters of greenhouse gasses in the world. In terms of both total and per capita emissions, it is among the largest contributors. As of April 2019, 69% of Americans think that climate change is happening and 55% think that it is mostly human caused.

According to the American government's Climate Change Science Program, "With continued global warming, heat waves and heavy downpours are very likely to further increase in frequency and intensity. Substantial areas of North America are likely to have more frequent droughts of greater severity. Hurricane wind speeds, rainfall intensity, and storm surge levels are likely to increase. The strongest cold season storms are likely to become more frequent, with stronger winds and more extreme wave heights."

Global temperatures have already risen 1.2 C, or 2.2 F, since preindustrial levels, and the atmosphere is on track to warm up by 1.5 C, or 2.7 F, over the next two decades. Warming at 2 degrees Celsius could trigger an international food crisis in coming years, according to a 2019 report from the UN's scientific panel on climate change. The general consensus among scientists is that the climate targets that countries are attempting to meet under the Paris accord are not sufficient.

The current effects of global warming in the US are widespread and varied. In 2012, the US experienced its warmest year on record. As of 2012, the thirteen warmest years for the entire planet have all occurred since 1998, transcending those from 1880. Different regions experience widely different climatic changes. Changes in climate in the regions of the US appear as significantly.

The next round of UN climate talks is set to take place in Glasgow, Scotland, in November 2021, when countries are expected to submit new, more ambitious 2030 targets and all eyes will be on the US, what initiative will be taken by the Joe Biden Administration, since climate change is seen as a national security threat to the United States.
The writer is a banker and
freelance contributor





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