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Trump goes cold on the Paris Climate Accord

Eliana Gargiulo, Editor-in-Chief

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In September 2016, President Obama officially entered the United States into the Paris Climate Accord. The agreement, which would eventually be signed by all but two other UN-recognized nations, attempted to slow and reverse global climate change by vastly cutting global carbon dioxide emissions. Obama’s decision to enter the accord was largely applauded, both by American and international communities. Climate scientists and experts worldwide viewed the Accord as a major step forward in combatting climate change, though some nations would argue it didn’t go far enough. In September 2016, President Obama officially entered the United States into the Paris Climate Accord. The agreement, which would eventually be signed by all but two other UN-recognized nations, attempted to slow and reverse global climate change by vastly cutting global carbon dioxide emissions. Obama’s decision to enter the accord was largely applauded, both by American and international communities. Climate scientists and experts worldwide viewed the Accord as a major step forward in combating climate change, though some nations would argue it didn’t go far enough.

Corporate America, primarily the fuel industry, did not look so kindly on the Paris Agreement, however. President Trump campaigned against the Accord as well, arguing that it would stifle American production, and destroy American jobs. Trump also regularly adopted a skeptical stance towards climate change in general, tweeting remarks like, “Record setting cold and snow, ice caps massive! The only global warming we should fear is that caused by nuclear weapons – incompetent pols” for years. As such, pulling out of the Paris Accord was a campaign promise Trump had made early on during the election cycle, and has finally been seen through.      President Trump’s decision to leave the agreement was almost universally criticized. The American Civil Liberties Union, a number of DC based organizations, and a number of Silicon Valley mega-companies like Apple and Microsoft have publicly come out in favor of the Accord since Trump’s decision. Even fuel companies like BP have reaffirmed their commitment to the Accord.

Nationwide, state governors and city mayors have promised to continue to hold their constituencies to the standard set by the Paris Accord. New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio went so far as to slam Trump’s decision on Twitter, and sign an executive order to ensure NYC’s position in upholding the agreement. Perhaps even more damaging to the President yet is the international response to his decision to pull out of the Paris Accord.

Many world powers declared their disappointment in Trump, including France, Germany, and even China. Many critics have pointed out that the only two other countries absent from the Accord are Nicaragua and Syria, and that the former did not sign because it felt the Accord didn’t go far enough; and the latter is enveloped in a bloody civil war.Regardless of any criticisms however, Trump has expressed confidence in his decision.

A number of Trump supporters have also expressed their support in leaving the Accord, though a number of his even more staunch supporters have come out in favor of the Accord. Despite the debate now, pulling out of the Paris Accord will take about four years, so the question as to what happens next depends, like many things, on how Trump’s 2020 re-election bid fares.

Above: World leaders at the Paris Climate Conference of 2015. Photo Courtesy: c2es.org

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The student news site of West Milford Township High School
Trump goes cold on the Paris Climate Accord