The Paris Agreement: The Real Reason Behind Donald Trump’s Exit!
If you have any sort of opinion on climate change, you are unlikely to have missed the latest development in Nature News. The United States, as promised, pulled out of the Paris Agreement. Although this is no surprise, as Donald Trump has been laying the ground for it since his ascendancy. However, the ripples of the impending eventuality shook the senses of everyone concerned about Mother Earth. And that too, a few days prior to World Environment Day.
If you joined in late in the flow, here are few things that you need to know about the Paris Agreement before trying to make sense of what Donald Trump has done.
- Emissions and pollution across the world has consistently raised global heat, so much so, that each year now is held as a record in high temperatures, over the previous year. 2014 was the record highest, then it was 2015, then 2016, and now 2017 is building up to break the record yet again.
- Paris Agreement began negotiating a climate deal ever since the last such discussion was ineffective back in 2009. Literally years in the making, the Paris Agreement was special because it bought together almost all the countries in the world on a common platform, agreeing to a common goal, and with a common vision.
- The ideal benchmark to be achieved was 2°C or 35.6°F of maximum global temperature increase. A collective effort from all the countries could help achieve this. The next obvious question is, ‘Why is the 2°C so important?’. Well, that is the most we can afford to avoid rising sea levels in the very near future. Some estimates suggest that, at our current pace, we are likely to exceed our carbon ceiling limits in 20 years. This is when the emissions would become a full-fledged crisis. We must act now to keep it in control. Some scientists have indicated that the 2°C goal is not ambitious enough and we should be doing more.
- Each participant country has the freedom to choose what implementations they would employ to achieve their own benchmarks. Furthermore, they have the freedom to set these benchmarks too. There are no penalties or sanctions if any country fails to reach these individual benchmarks. It is a completely voluntary effort.
Considering what you just read, you most likely inferred that the Paris Agreement is good for the world. What is there to lose? Well, this is where we let Donald Trump do his thing.
The President of the United States Pulled Out of the Paris Agreement Citing the Following Concerns.
- Donald Trump in his infinite wisdom construed a reality where the benchmarks were forced on to the United States, and that the agreement forbid coal production.
Fact: This is, plainly, not true. As you read earlier, the Paris Agreement does not enforce anything on anyone. It is completely voluntary where the individual countries set their own goals and their plans to fulfill them. The agreement doesn’t even have any penalties in case of non-fulfillment of the promised targets.
- Donald Trump implied that the country would lose jobs in coal mining and production if the agreement went through.
Fact: The United States would lose jobs, not because of the reduction of the coal industry, but due to the derailment of the Clean Energy industry. Clean Energy employs millions of US nationals, while the industry grows positively year on year. The coal industry has nothing to do with the agreement and there is no reason that the industry should suffer.
- Donald Trump stated that the world applauded the signing of the Paris Agreement because they were secretly celebrating putting the United States at a disadvantage.
Fact: You know this by now. Moving on!
Real Reason Behind Donald Trump’s Paris Agreement Exit, or Pregxit, if You May.
- Green Visibility: The world would stand up and track what every nation does in the name of environment conservation. There would be far more international scrutiny over the green initiatives, or possible disruptions, within the United States. Next time Donald Trump’s enterprise friends wants to clear forest area for a factory or a mall, they wouldn’t have to worry about additional government interventions or clearances. And all this without any global PR backlash.
- Environment Protection Agency (EPA): Donald Trump has already dismantled the EPA at the functional level to ease the development of corporations. The Paris Agreement would once again put them in the spotlight, which would essentially undo the step-by-step dismantling of their authority.
- Erasing the Obama Era: The Donald Trump administration has been vigorously erasing all Obama-era initiatives, beginning from Medicare to the Paris Agreement. This is more of a Republican vs Democrats battle where Trump seems to be directed by higher forces in the party.
- Media Deflection: After the roller coaster week before, where the Russian scepter loomed tall in the White House, the administration required something bold and engaging to dominate the news hours until people forgot about the shady happenings.
As a Citizen, What Can You Do?
Interestingly, the Paris Agreement is not exclusive to countries; cities, local governments, and influential leaders can pledge their support to the agreement by setting up their own goals and plan for environment conservation. When Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary, tweeted Donald Trump’s comment, “I was elected by voters of Pittsburgh, not Paris. I promised I wld exit or renegotiate any deal which fails to serve US interests (sic)”, the Mayor of Pittsburgh replied, “As the Mayor of Pittsburgh, I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy & future. (sic)”.
More than 187 cities in the United States and 9 states including California, New York, Washington, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Hawaii, and Oregon, have all pledged their support to the Paris Agreement. Another 10 states have shared their interest in joining this parallel alliance. You can, as a citizen, reach out to your local government officials to push them to support the Paris Agreement as an entity.
As an Enterprise, What Can You Do?
- You can track your logistics management to track all bottlenecks where you are more likely to have an increased level of CO2 emission. These might be high traffic zones or long unplanned routes to reach destinations.
- You can plan your routes better with some of the innovative products in the logistics management industry. This would impart more control over the delivery movement in your enterprise.
- You can, with GPS vehicle tracking, direct your fleet and field workforce in real-time towards more optimized routes.
- You can ensure that your field service management system enables to achieve maximum efficiency with minimum fuel usage.
- You can use high-end analytics to identify excess usage of resources and cut down on cost while also cutting excessive fuel usage over a longer period.
- All this can empower your enterprise to utilize the ‘Green Logistics’ concept and sustainably develop your environment consciousness in a better world.
To pledge your support to the Paris Agreement, follow this link. May the Force be with You!
Cover Image Credit: U.S. Air Force illustration/Staff Sgt. Jamal D. Sutter13