Understanding How The Paris Agreement Works

The Paris Agreement seems to be very confusing for Donald Trump.

In reality, it’s a basic idea with big intentions. By opting out of the Paris Agreement, Trump is outwardly ignoring many of the Nation’s biggest companies and instead, taking sides with a fading industry.

However, withdrawing from the deal won’t be as catastrophic for business or the climate as overheated news coverage might suggest. The Paris deal relies on voluntary reductions in carbon emissions, according to standards each nation sets themselves. Countries can change their standards or simply not abide by them. It’s also a good thing to note that Donald Trump can’t suddenly yank the United States out of the The Paris Agreement because that’s just not how this agreement works. This agreement has been signed by every country in the world, with the exception of Syria and Nicaragua. The United States would have to wait three to four years after the agreement takes effect in November of 2016 before actually leaving.

Juncker, the former Prime minister of Luxembourg, says they attempted to explain to Trump that he could not simply pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement because the treaty contains safeguards to prevent exactly that from happening.

“So this notion, ‘I am Trump, I am American, America first and I’m going to get out of it’ — that won’t happen,” Junckner continued. “We tried to explain that to Mr. Trump in Taormina in clear German sentences. It seems our attempt failed.”

He said that “the law is the law” and it must be obeyed regardless of what Trump thinks, adding somewhat sardonically that not everything in international agreements is fake news.

 Another notable point is that market incentives to adopt clean energy are becoming stronger, in some cases obviating the need for government incentives or mandates. The green economy train has, so to speak, “left the station” and countries can get on board or be left behind. Some states in America even seem to have found a counter method to Trump’s poor decision making.

California, Washington and New York created the United States Climate Alliance to continue upholding the Paris Agreement within their boundaries. Ideally, more states will join in, but those 3 states alone account for about 20% of the U.S population and about 25% of the countries GDP; so that is a good chunk of change that has pledged to cut carbon emissions. Trump seems to be consistently trying to uproot any forward motion of this, but as he tries to do that, many new forms of resistance are coming into play that should; in the long term, correct any damage that Donald has created.

There is no logical reason for anybody to not support clean energy production and international cooperation on cleaning the environment. If you enjoy eating and being able to breathe, or going outside with out having your skin melt, you support this idea of clean energy practices. If not, you’ll realize it when it’s too late. Why take a gamble, the facts are in: Our world is changing for the worse, regardless of cause, and we need to do something about it now.

We have an obligation as the most intelligent species to protect our “collective home” for us and for the other animals that don’t have the means to do so.

The most troubling thing about the Trump administration is that Donald Trump flaunts how he is a business man, but if he were a true business man, he would see the opportunity of a life time: a problem that needs to be solved. There are so many benefits, jobs, and money in the new and unexplored greener world because that’s what will be driving the future. Investing in green technology (and technology in general), wind and solar alone would end up saving us all money in the long term, because America wouldn’t need to import oil anymore. There are literally zero downsides to this agreement. This would also allow for more free capital to invest in other areas. Trump is trying to invest in coal and oil when the demand is already decreasing. That’s either a very poor judgment call, or all of these decisions are based off greed and the fact that Trump has ties to oil companies, and to companies that for some reason, do not want to adjust with our changing world.

All in all, we must continue to pressure Washington to do the right thing, and organize in a grass-roots level to get things done. It is up to the people of the world to continue and push for what is moral and logical.

We can all help by remembering to vote in the upcoming 2018 mid-term elections. This is when all seats in the House of Representatives, and the full terms for 34 of the 100 seats in the Senate are up for re-election. We need to vote for government officials who more closely reflect our ideals and world views.


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