The Paris Agreement is the current hot topic of all media. After President Trump’s withdrawal from the agreement, news sources covered all the negative opinions on his actions. A coalition was formed between Washington, California and New York that opposes Trump’s decision and the French President openly mocked his slogan saying “Make our planet great again.”
Before voicing my opinion on the President’s actions, it is necessary to ask these questions: what is the Paris Agreement? What does it do?
The Paris Agreement is a UNFCCC agreement that aims at curbing greenhouse gas emissions in order to reduce the effects of climate change. The agreement was signed 195 countries and ratified by 148 of those. The only countries that refused to sign were Syria and Nicaragua with the addition of the USA that is planning to withdraw the agreement.
In Article 2 of the English version of the agreement, the main goal laid out is to hold “the increase of global temperature to well above 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.” Article 9 of the same agreement then goes to emphasize the necessity of developed countries financially helping the developing ones in order to achieve the same results.
The agreement raises many issues and is quite problematic. It is economically damaging as countries have to spend billions of dollars in aid to developing nations, in addition to reducing economic growth due to the restricting policies of such an agreement. By raising taxes and halting production, you are asking for a national economic crisis.
The economic consequences sadly do not yield great results, even in the long run. Calculations done by PragerU in the video shown below on climate change showed that the policies adopted would cost trillions of dollars, but would only achieve minor results even if estimated for the whole century. These two points make the agreement both destructive and inefficient, regardless of where you stand on climate change.
A more pragmatic and effective solution would be forming multinational research groups dedicated to clean and renewable energy, funded by the UN members states. Not only would the results of such research give birth to technological and environmental innovation, but it would also cost significantly less than the Paris in terms of money and economic consequences. The discovery of an energy source that is cleaner, cheaper, and more convenient than fossil fuels would pursue businesses to make the switch, which would have a better impact on the environment for the long run.
Trump did the right thing by withdrawing. However, he did it for the wrongs reasons. He never claimed the agreement was inefficient in what it’s doing but rather called climate change a “hoax” by the Chinese government to reduce competition of US goods against Chinese produce.
This means that instead of going from an inefficient solution to an efficient one, we’re going from an inefficient solution to none at all. Thankfully, Trump will only be in the White House for the next three years as I doubt he will be reelected for a second term. Hopefully, by then, we would have carved a better solution.