Trump Has Withdrawn the U.S. From the Paris Climate Agreement

According to CNN, President Donald Trump has announced the United States’s exit from the Paris Agreement, a United Nations treaty that aims to reduce global warming and lower greenhouse gas emissions globally.

The U.S. exiting the agreement will likely trigger other nations to do the same. In addition, The Washington Post states, “A U.S. withdrawal would remove the world’s second-largest emitter and nearly 18 percent of the globe’s present-day emissions from the agreement.” Does the math not seem obvious here to Trump et. al.?

Given Trump’s questionable statements on climate change and the environment during his presidential campaign (when Trump outright promised he would withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement) and his various attacks on the EPA, it should come as no shock that the Trump administration is bent on literally setting the Earth on fire.

However, there was also a risk of the U.S. staying superficially involved in the agreement while actively changing its policies in a non-environmentally-conscious (or protecting, for that matter) direction. “‘A great power that willfully misses its target could provide political cover for other laggards and weaken the soft power of process,’” says environmental expert Luke Kemp, according to another piece from The Post.

The possibility also remains that a future president (!!!) can recommit to the agreement.

America now joins the other TWO countries (Syria and Nicaragua, the latter of which refused to sign the agreement because it wasn’t aggressive enough) that are not a part of the treaty. The U.S. is second only to China on the list of countries with the most greenhouse gas emissions.

Margeaux Biché is a current senior at Barnard College living in New York City. During her freshman year, she studied at the George Washington University in D.C., where she wrote for The GW Hatchet. She is a Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies major and is passionate about social justice. While she does not know exactly where she'll take her degree, she hopes she can contribute to the advancement of marginalized peoples through legal and/or activist work. Chocolate covered pretzels are her favorite food, Rihanna is her favorite musician and her go-to talent is her ability to wiggle her ears. Margeaux loves dogs, hiking and her hometown basketball team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, all of which are oft-featured on her Instagram account.

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