What Does Trump Pulling Out of the Paris Agreement Mean For the Rest of Us?
On June 1st President of the United States, Donald Trump, made the announcement that the United States would no longer support the Paris Climate deal.
Given Trump's previous skeptical attitudes towards the validity of man made global warming, it comes as no surprise really that one of his earliest actions as President was to withdraw the USA from the Paris Agreement, set fourth to lower emissions and take on greener policies in order to reduce global warming to an optimistic 2 degrees. Feel free to scroll through a selection of some of Trumps best hits on Twitter regarding global warming below.
So why exactly did Trump decide to pull out of the deal ? The simplest explanation so far has been provided by the Hill, an American political newspaper that keeps us updated on congress, politics and political campaigns. According to the Hill, Trump dropped the Paris pact because because he thought it was, in typical Trump speech, a 'bad deal' that was at odds with his 'America First' campaign. Trump believed that the Paris deal was one sided as 'the United States pays billions of dollars while China, Russia and India have contributed and will contribute nothing'.
What does Trumps decision mean for the rest of us and further still the environment? As the the second largest contributor to carbon emitter, Trump's withdrawal is well, a pretty big deal. Trump's action signal to the rest of the world that he doesn't care about reducing emissions and at the point isn't even bothering to pretend to care about reducing them.
This is basically a big fuck you to the planet because as much as Trump doesn't want to believe it - global warming is man-made, facts are facts and these facts when backed with scientific evidence can't be ignored. If we continue on our current trajectory, the future doesn't look too bright for planet Earth. With continuous global warming our planet's ecosystems are collapsing and the fundamental systems required to support life on Earth is continually weakened.
As a sustainability student who has studied the devastating effects that an endless list of factors, all stemming from us as humans, that are ruining our planet Trump pulling out of the Paris deal hit me especially hard. To me, and to several others, the Paris Deal represented hope. It showed that regardless of the differences countries have faced in the past they were willing to come together to combat an issue that affects not only us but the generations to come after us, climate change.
Since Trump's decision, social media has been rife with inspiration messages from various businesses, politicians and public figures stating that we will stick together regardless to mitigate the damage that has already been done to our planet. Not only does this show that people are willing to stand up to Trump, it also shows that the actions of one man should not and will not extinguish our drive to push a sustainability agenda.
So, when reflecting on Trump's withdrawal and what it means for the rest of us... well I think it will affect us as much as we allow it too. Of course, as the USA is a big contributor to carbon emissions Trump's decision will influence the rate a which the meet our climate goals BUT it should not derail us from our mission.
In the now famous words of Eileen Fisher, Founder of sustainability orientated fashion brand by the same name; "President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement means our work to create a sustainable future just got harder. And we just got more committed.'