paris climate agreement

Paris Climate Agreement: Why Trump Has Withdrawn the Agreement? All You Need to Know

Paris Climate Agreement: Why Trump Has Withdrawn the Agreement? All You Need to Know


In a speech from the Rose Garden on Thursday, Donald Trump has officially announced the withdrawal of the US from the Paris Climate Agreement saying that he would “renegotiate” a better and fairer deal. Trump also added that this withdrawal is for the protection of “his” country and citizens.

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The withdrawal from this global warming agreement has rattled the entire nation. Luke Kemp, a lecturer in International Relations and Environmental Policy has laid out the possible risks akin to US participation in the Paris Agreement. He also stated that the US and the Trump administration would do more harm inside the agreement than outside.


  • The US will omit its emissions target

Firstly, the Paris Agreement doesn’t need the US to meet its demands. Secondly, the agreement is procedural rather than mandatory. It actually requires a fresh and effective climate pledge every five years.

paris climate agreement

Thirdly, the US would need more than Obama’s Clean Power Plan as to hit its aim of cutting down the emissions by 26-28% on 2005 levels by 2025. Since Trump has exempted from these policies too, US emissions are likely to hike by 2025 instead of declining.

So, US will probably miss its emission reduction pledge.


  • The US will cut climate funding


Money is also the key factor in the withdrawal. This climate funding was the prime aspect of the Paris Agreement that was signed in 2015.In an attempt to protect the Paris Agreement; Barack Obama transferred $500m to Green Climate Fund.

Now, the Green Climate Fund has so far risen to US$10 billion in climate aid. The US promised to donate US$3 billion but it has provided US$1 billion so far. And, what about the remaining money?


  • The US will be responsible for Domino effect

The third risk is probably the domino effect or “chain reaction”. US actions could influence other nations to refrain from the targets or withdrawal. An evidence to show that US withdrawal will trigger other nations is the closest historical parallel, Kyoto Protocol, where the US has signed the treaty but never acclaimed.

It is not the withdrawal from the Paris Agreement that causes a domino effect, but it is due to US domestic behavior. Other countries will follow the suit, if the US will miss its pledges and targets, disclosing how weak the Paris Agreement is. Even the investors and the public have no faith in this agreement.


  • The US will act as a spoiler in the negotiations

The US will be a clod in International Climate funds. If the US participates in the agreement, then undoubtedly, it will employ veto in the negotiations. The “Paris-Rulebook” in which the complete details of how the agreement will be executed is being negotiated. The plans will be ratified in 2018.

With its veto and voice, US could weaken the rules. It could encumber the negotiations by demanding a reformation to the Paris Agreement as Energy Secretary Rick Perry has suggested the US to renegotiate the Paris climate accord.


US withdrawal could create new opportunities

US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement could generate new opportunities such as renewed European and Chinese leadership. The US withdrawal could also be an opportunity for China to imprint its mark on an international issue. It would also lay more opportunities to both China and the European Union in the renewable energy markets.

The EU has previously proved its leadership in the Kyoto Protocol in the absence of the US. This time Europe would be gearing up with another great power.

A stronger joint climate pledge for the two is necessary for the unification of their respective carbon trading schemes and implementing a common border carbon tariff.

Withdrawal from the UNFCCC is more dramatic and effective than the pulling out of the Paris Agreement as it would elicit a domino effect. And, also the US will fail to report its emissions and actions to the international community and drastically, it would be a package of climate vagabond.

On the contrary, withdrawal from the UNFCCC would mitigate the threat of US obstruction as it would turn a loss at its veto in the in the wider negotiations.

Though the domino effect is likely, a withdrawal is still acceptable.


US Participation is a disturbance

The European leaders persuaded hard to make Trump remain in the Agreement explaining its dire consequences later on. But their plea is of no avail.

The international community appears to be frightened as the US will make the “largely symbolic gesture of quitting Paris”. Actually, it should be worried about the domestic actions of the US rather than the symbolic gestures.

It is still worrisome that symbolism has weighed more important than the action.

International climate action will be stronger by the Trump’s withdrawal as it will make way for the invigorating leadership.

Hence, “Policy, not participation, needs to be the focus of criticism”.




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