It has been one year since President Donald Trump had withdrawn from the Paris accord. The reasons behind this decision? The president had characterized global warming a “hoax” in the past while he made it clear he believed the agreement would significantly “undermine economy” and would put the US at a major disadvantage. He stated that a withdrawal would help American businesses and workers. The President particularly claimed that it would cost the US $3tn in lost GDP and 6.5 million jobs. He also believed that economies such as China and India had gotten a better deal.
The Paris agreement underlined a commitment on behalf of almost 200 countries on December 2015 to limit global carbon emissions and contain global warming to 2 C. while the optimal goal is 1.5C. Every few years countries are bound to come together and review each other’s’ efforts towards this goal. It took very hard negotiations for 21 years among the countries in order to reach this agreement.
The president’s decision found some supporters among the Republican Party, still the reactions he received were mainly negative at an international level. He received criticism from businesses, political leaders, environmentalists, and scientists. However, since 4 years had not passed from the signing of the agreement presumably no actual effect would the withdrawal bring as for the terms the US are meant to abide.
The unfortunate fact is that although the US contributes about 15% of global emissions of carbon, they would also contribute significantly to the accord effort financially and technology-wise. This would help developing countries in their struggle to battle rising temperatures. The missing funds could back up renewable energy, energy efficiency, forest conservation and other initiatives that decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
Turning a new leaf, Donald Trump announced that the US could go back into the Paris agreement. “We could conceivably go back in … I feel very strongly about the environment” he stated. The agreement was signed under former President Barack Obama’s administration, which the President accused of making a “bad deal”.
He said the Paris accord was very unfavorable and “it put penalties” on the US. He underlined that the US is “rich in gas, and coal, and oil, and other things…there was a tremendous penalty to using it”; while it was estimated that many businesses would have to close in order to qualify by 2025. However, he does not have a problem with the accord itself and if there is a renegotiation the US could presumably go back in. Countries such as Germany, France and Italy already voiced their opinion that the deal “cannot be renegotiated since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economies.”
Clean water and clean air appear on the top of the President’s priorities’ list although he also feels very strongly for businesses that can compete.
CSE’s next presentation of the Global Certified Sustainability (CSR) Practitioner Program will be held in Atlanta, on March 8-9, 2018 and will provide all the latest updates and key concepts regarding trends and legislation on corporate sustainability, SDG’s, carbon emissions, GRI reporting guidelines, ways to measure the stakeholder engagement, case studies and best practices.