By : Amira Elhamy
“ President Trump’s decision to withdraw from Paris climate agreement caused anger and anxiety across the world, with one major exception: China”, with this statement Vox news described the decision of the US president Donald Trump to withdraw from Paris climate agreement earlier this week. President Trump in fact cited economic and employment concerns claiming that this agreement is not benefiting the United States, on the contrary; it is actually benefiting others. He said that he really hopes the US would be able to renegotiate the deal, in order to make it for the benefit of the United States.
“We don’t want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore, and they won’t be,” Trump said.
Though President Trump said earlier this year that there was a possibility that the US will withdraw from Paris agreement, when the decision was taken it did cause major national and international reactions.
According to Forbes the governors of California, Washington, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island have banded together to continue to work toward meeting the targets of the global climate accord. These seven states represent almost 15% of the country’s emissions. Two of the governors are Republican.
In fact, many businesses also want to remain in the accord, including Exxon Mobil and Chevron. They understand the global business opportunities and technology sharing that come with being a leader in this agreement. These are not just green companies. They included 3M, Bank of America, Campbell Soup, Cargill, Citigroup, Coca-Cola, Corning, Dow Chemical, DuPont, General Electric, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Pacific Gas and Electric, Procter & Gamble, Tesla, Virgin Group and the Walt Disney Company. Just yesterday, the European Union said it would work directly with American businesses and governors to help the United States meet the emissions targets, without federal support.
Furthermore, some state governors already took sides; Washington State Governor Jay Inslee told reporters that they are going to uphold the commitment to the Paris Agreement saying; he said: ‘We Governors are going to step into this cockpit and fly the plane. The President wants to ground it – we’re going to fly it.’
“When Angela Merkel said last week that Europe could no longer fully rely on the US, she was right”; instead Europe & China are ready to lead from the front on climate — and have signed their own pact — as the EU’s climate chief told me,” said Christiane Amanpour, the Chief International Correspondent for CNN.
The European Commissioner for Climate Action, told the CNN earlier that The European Union “deeply regret” President Trump’s decision to withdraw from Paris Climate Agreement, stating that Paris agreement was a historical moment in which 195 parties decided to unite to face one of the most significant global challenges, which is global warming. “It took years of effort and work to come to this decision; it is a major disappointment,” says Arias.
As for the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau he declared his deep disappointment upon Trump’s decision.
From his side Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel called Trump’s decision a “brutal act,”
Related to China’s situation, Vox news noted that China, which the only country that emits more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the United States, reacted strongly even before Trump’s announcement. In fact, with the US stepping away from its role as a leader of the global fight against climate change, Beijing is already moving to fill the void, giving it a chance to benefit both diplomatically and economically and expand its standing on the world stage. China did actually insert itself into trade talks among other nations disappointed by America’s reversal.
Furthermore, The Independent sated that China and the EU have responded so strongly by affirming their commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change process . The Independent on another note stated that it should come as no surprise that the senators who urged Trump to ditch the Paris Agreement had all received significant donations from the fossil fuel industry.
It is to be noted that Paris Climate agreement, is a major global agreement that includes promises within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. The language of the agreement was negotiated by representatives of 195 countries at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Paris and adopted by consensus on 12 December 2015. It was opened for signature on 22 April 2016 (Earth Day) at a ceremony in New York.