On June 1, Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Climate Accord. In 2015, nearly 200 countries signed the agreement, designed to combat climate change. The countries agreed to actions like reducing fossil fuel emissions.
Trump’s reason? He says that the agreement is a bad deal for American businesses and citizens. Trump has quite a few supporters in his corner who say that the agreement is not so much about climate change, but more about wealth redistribution (in true Obama fashion). The president stated that the current Paris Climate Accord deal could mean America losing up to 2.7 million jobs by 2025. Trump is hoping for a better deal, and a compromise. He promised to immediately start work on a deal that was fairer to American workers. Trump said, “The Paris climate accord is simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that puts the US at a disadvantage, to the exclusive benefit of other countries, leaving American workers and taxpayers to absorb the cost in terms of lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories and vastly diminished economic production.”
Naturally, critics quickly came out of the woodwork to condemn the decision—environmental groups, other world leaders, and Obama himself. Critics complain that, without US participation, the other countries will now have a much more difficult, if not impossible, time reaching their goals. Why do nearly 200 other countries need America to be involved to get anything done? Environmental groups say it’s just not right for Trump to pull out of the deal, given that the US contributes 15 percent of the world’s carbon emissions. Many countries are worried because $3 billion in aid to other nations came with the deal that Trump just broke, and they’re particularly worried that other countries may exit now that a big player has done so.
There are only two other countries in the world–Syria and Nicaragua—who are not part of the current accord. Trump is being accused of “abandoning American leadership” and “shamelessly disregarding the safety of our families”. Critics accuse Trump of being buddy-buddy with the fossil fuel industry, which they allege urged him to back out of the accord.
Interestingly, new data just reported that the Paris agreement had failed to stop the rise of European Union greenhouse gas emissions in 2015. Hmmmm…maybe the accord isn’t about climate change after all!