During his last week in Paris, French President Macron attempted to convince President Trump to reverse his withdrawal from the Paris Climate accord. This accord was struck in December 2015 and ratified by 153 nations.
Long ago, Mr. Trump left the door open for compromise; however, no one knows what said compromise will be. Some predict Mr. Trump’s policy will be a sham, since it is unlikely that he would carry out former President, Barack Obama’s promises to reduce GHG emissions or to re-establish Mr. Obama’s leadership role in climate change.
Despite Mr. Macron’s efforts, the relationship between America and the globe has only gotten widener since Mr. Trump’s ascension to President. This tension was present at last week’s G20 summit, when 19 of the world’s leading economic powers stated their intentions to fight climate change and one pitiful sentence from America, stating they would “endeavor” to “use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently”
The question which begs to be answered is whether the limits set by the Paris accord are attainable without America’s aid. The agreement requests to limit rise in atmospheric temperatures up to 2˚ C. Prior to his term end, Mr. Obama promised to reduce America’s GHG emissions from 26% to 28% by 2025 through greater fuel efficiency for cars, limits from gas wells and developing new emission standards for old and new coal power plants.
Through various executive orders, Mr. Trump has commanded Scot Pruitt at the EPA and Ryan Zinke at the Interior Department – to prevent Mr. Obama’s promises from occurring. America is also due to intensify fossil fuel production.
One could wonder what piece of information could force Mr. Trump to reverse his actions. He seems indifferent by scientific global evidence of climate change and apathetic by growing evidence that the jobs he has promised voters lie not in dying fossil fuel industries, but in the renewable sector. Perhaps the enormous iceberg which separated from Antarctica will remind Mr. Trump. The calving may not be related to climate change and will not raise sea levels, shelves hold land-based glaciers and when shelves go, glaciers tend to follow. Regardless, nature has communicated a warning.
A hopeful outcome is Mr. Trump will finally realize world leaders view him with scorn and resentment. In terms of the environment, he has only taken the United States backwards in time.
Despite our hopes, the world cannot rely on the possibility that Mr. Trump will change his ways; however, one can hope the rest of the world progresses into a green future that Mr. Trump cannot accept.