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Consequences of United States Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement By City Tech Blogger Pedro Torres

In December 2015, diverse countries of the world adopted the Paris Climate Agreement whose action plan is to fight global warming to below two degrees Celsius, as well as combat the impacts of climate change for both developed and developing countries. Among the vast world, nations joining this accord was the United States, under the then President Barack Obama’s administration. However, according to the current president, Donald Trump, the Paris Climate Agreement not only impels oppressive regulations on the economy but hinders potential job opportunities for Americans as well. Being the second largest global emitter of carbon, United States has sought alternative methods of reduction of carbon dioxide emissions in a bid to achieve independence as regards climatic control. This paper, thus, explores the ramifications of the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement to both developed and developing nations.

Being the second largest carbon emitter, United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement pact will undoubtedly undermine the concerted efforts by other countries to control climate change, as it is equally a great source of technology and finance. According to statistics, for instance, the United States has been the top financial donor with a contribution of about 21% of its total shares, which has then substantially declined to 6.4%, considering withdrawal from the agreement. Unfortunately, the effects of climate change are highly palpable in poor developing countries that possess limited funds to counteract some of the impacts of climate change and whose economy relies majorly on the agricultural sector.  For the cause on climate change to achieve implementation, however, financing from developed nations becomes imperative in aiding developing countries that ostensibly rely on developed and more industrialized nations like the United States. Given the withdrawal, therefore, strongly evident changes in climate are likely to arise and consequently spawn trouble to humanity and the ecosystem.

As a result of the disengagement also, world nations are set to suffer global warming, ascribable to the continual growth in industrialization worldwide. As of Climate Interactive, for instance, by 2100 the world is estimated to be 3.3 degrees Celsius warmer; if major adjustments hardly administered on funding. With the temperatures of above two degrees, the world could mutate into a hostile entity with crises in water, food; given changes in weather and sea patterns. Also, Climate Interactive calculates that by 2025 the United States would emit 6.7 gigatons of carbon dioxide as opposed to 5.3 gigatons to have been emitted while under the Paris Climate Agreement. Equally, there is a likelihood of a 3% elevation in global emissions, with greater effects by 2030 (Tollefson, 2017). Given the predicted rise in global temperature, therefore, irreversible and devastating consequences such as searing heat waves as well as rising sea levels are some of the consequences that the United States’ move constraints on humanity and the environment. It is likely, therefore, to take decades for other nations to tackle climate change independently, considering the United States’ irresponsibility to opt out.

The US withdrawal as well implies a compromise on future climate reports and negotiations, the United States being the world’s largest researcher on climate change. For instance, of the considerably cited papers on climate change, United States accounts for 58% of such a hundred papers; with also 23% of 120,000 climate change articles being from America. Regarding the vast technological advancement in the nation too, scientists contribute to 54.95% of articles posted in leading scientific journals between the years 2010 and 2016 (Watts & Agnolucci, 2017). The statistics are an indication of the United States’ impact on the climatic science, which is to get otherwise crippled following this withdrawal. America’s mission to withdraw is thus an upset to the Paris Climate Agreement as regards rendering its global targets unachievable.

Conclusively then, it is evident that the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement is threatening to both developed and developing countries of the world. Having been in operation since 2015, the agreement has been a breakthrough in mitigating climate change, assignable to regular funding and cooperation from developed nations, in a bid to avert climate change. Being the second top emitter of carbon, opting out of the pact hampers the implementation of the agreement’s goal to adopt a two degrees threshold; given the country’s previous substantial finance and technological support towards the venture. In the event of global warming, therefore, developing nations with very low carbon emissions are set to suffer much, due to a weak financial muscle to reverse the resultant effects. Such countries are equally prone to destruction as they ostensibly depend on agriculture to boost their economy. Additionally, the United States of America has been the most significant contributor to climate science; the withdrawal is sure to enfeeble the nation’s interest in climatic issues, thus fostering the increasingly global climate change. On that account, given the possibility of heightened temperatures in future that could turn catastrophic as a result of continued global industrialization, global warming becomes a nightmare that must be addressed today.

 

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