On June 1, 2017, President Donald Trump announced that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change. This decision has been heavily criticized by environmentalists, countries around the world, and even some American businesses.
The Paris Agreement, which was signed in 2015, aims to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It also calls on countries to regularly report on their greenhouse gas emissions and to submit plans to reduce them.
The United States is the second-largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, behind China. By withdrawing from the agreement, the country is sending a message that it does not prioritize the fight against climate change.
However, the withdrawal process will not be immediate. According to the agreement, a country must wait three years from the date it entered into force (November 4, 2016) before it can begin the process of withdrawal. The withdrawal itself will then take one year to complete.
In the meantime, American states, cities, and businesses have pledged to continue to work towards the goals of the Paris Agreement. Governors from California, New York, and Washington have formed the United States Climate Alliance, which aims to uphold the goals of the Paris Agreement at the state level. Over 350 American companies, including Apple and Google, have signed onto the “We Are Still In” campaign, pledging to continue to work towards the goals of the Paris Agreement.
The decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement has also caused other countries to question the reliability of the United States as a partner in international agreements. It remains to be seen what the long-term consequences of this decision will be, both for the planet and for America’s standing in the world.
In conclusion, the decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change is a controversial and heavily debated topic. While the United States government may be withdrawing, American businesses, states, and cities are still committed to fighting climate change. Only time will tell what the overall impact of this decision will be.