In case you’ve somehow managed to shield yourself from the constant barrage of horrible news that Donald Trump’s presidency unbelievably keeps churning out week after week, I… no surprises here… have horrible news for you. You see, since he’s the President of only the United States, and not ours, there are only so many ways in which Trump can screw the rest of the world. But if you think for one second, that he won’t go out and actively screw it anyway, you’re sadly mistaken, my friend.
Trump has announced the official withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accord – an agreement that promotes responsible mitigation of global warming with the support of 195 countries. He’s insisted that this ‘deal’ is detrimental to the interests of the United States and his whole shtick to ‘Make America Great Again’.
And before I tell you about just how the world is reacting to this mistake of mammoth proportions, here are a few things you need to know about the Paris Climate Accord.
1. Keeping the global average temperatures from rising 2 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, is the target. Beyond these 2 degrees, the planet is at exponentially increased risk of changing sea levels, volatile weather patterns, food and water crises and a hostile world in general.
2. The agreement is completely voluntary. Each country determines its own contribution it should make in order to reduce greenhouse gases, reach peak emissions, and mitigate global warming. There is no mechanism to force a country to set a specific target by a specific date.
3. It asks the rich nations to help the poorer ones. The developing countries of the world, seeking to grow their economies but foregoing the use of fossil fuels for the larger good, need financial aid from developed countries. While this too isn’t mandatory, countries like the U.S. are supposed to do what they can to contribute to their and the world’s eventual shift to green energy.
In a joint statement, France, Germany and Italy unequivocally rejected Trump’s call for renegotiating the terms of the Paris Accord. And that was just the beginning of the negative responses to Trump’s decision, which are rolling in from everywhere.
Former POTUS Barack Obama, whose administration had negotiated the Paris Accord, wrote in his official statement:
“The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created. I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack. But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up.”
French president Emmanuel Macron unprecedentedly released a statement in English emphasising what a lapse of judgement on Trump’s part this decision represents. He invited for the global effort against climate change to continue even in the absence of support from American leadership and reminding the world of their responsibility to “make our planet great again.”
The backlash doesn’t even nearly end there, though. In light of Trump’s decision, 10 American states have already pledged support for the United States Climate Alliance.
British prime minister Theresa May has told Trump directly how disappointed she is at this decision. Genius and man behind Tesla, Elon Musk, has resigned from the president’s advisory council upon hearing of the withdrawal.
Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 1, 2017
California governor and Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger posted a message addressed to the POTUS insisting that “protecting our environment will not destroy our economy.”
Every credible scientific community agrees on the looming, unchanging threat that climate change poses to humanity. Yet, it’s invisible to The Donald’s eyes. And the subsequent departure of the U.S. from this alliance doesn’t just adversely affect the international effort to restore the environment. It also shakes the trust and co-operation that this agreement signified between the nations of the world – regardless of belief systems, resources and economic standing – to stand united in the interest of our shared planet.
But maybe, just maybe, this move on DJT’s part will only serve to remind the people that one man, no matter how powerful, cannot drive our planet into ruin. Maybe it’ll remind us, that climate change isn’t just up to the leaders of the world to take care of. It’s your and my planet, and we’ve gotta do what we can to make it… y’know, stick around for our kids and their kids and their kids’ kids and so on. You get the covfefe. Alas, Donald Trump never will.