#StopGlobalClimateChange ends with U.S. leaving Paris Agreement

Autumn Page, Contributor

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One of the most mainstream issues we deal with today is global climate change. This problem is going to become that much harder to beat since President Donald Trump has now begun withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement.

This yearlong change isn’t surprising for anyone. Trump said in 2017 that he intended to stop all participation with the Paris Agreement because we all know that he doesn’t believe in climate change, according to his Twitter. I’d call that “fake news,” but the irony is too much.

The United States has been involved with this agreement since 2015, when it was created at the 21st Conference of the Parties. This conference started with The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and The Kyoto Protocol. It laid down the goals for the reduction/limitation of greenhouse gas emissions in developed countries and transition economies.

The United Nations (U.N.) Climate Change website said, “The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

Secretary Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of the Department of State, tweeted Nov. 4, “Today we begin the formal process of withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. The U.S. is proud of our record as a world leader in reducing all emissions, fostering resilience, growing our economy and ensuring energy for our citizens. Ours is a realistic and pragmatic model.”

Trump’s early November announcement that the withdrawal motion would commence caused a roar of protest.

Nanette D. Barragán, a congresswoman for California’s 44th Congressional District, tweeted, “In another blow to combating the climate crisis, the Trump administration has officially begun the process of abandoning the #ParisClimateAgreement — Denying science, breaking international agreements and deserting our global allies is not American leadership, Mr. President.”

Former President Barack Obama was known for his efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. In fact, it was one of the more prominent issues he was concerned with. According to the White House archives from Obama’s presidency, “Since the President [Obama] took office, carbon emissions have decreased 9%, while the U.S. economy grew more than 10%.” This won’t last long once the U.S. leaves the Paris Agreement.

By the day after the new president is elected — or the same one is reelected, unfortunately — the U.S. will be officially out of the Paris Agreement. It is possible for the next president to rejoin, but this would cause a new sea of complications and new commitments.

Climate change isn’t exactly a hidden topic that only makes its way in conversation during elections. A Yale Climate Program did a poll, about seven in 10 Americans (69%) think global warming is happening, about six in ten Americans (62%) say they are at least “somewhat worried” about global warming, and more than one in five (23%) are “very worried” about it.

Being frank, Trump’s decision to leave this agreement is worrisome. This agreement was one of the major ways to protect the environment.

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) projects the atmospheric concentration of GHGs could reach 685 parts per million (ppm) CO2 by 2050. As a result, global average temperature is projected to be 3 degrees Celsius to 6 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century, exceeding the Paris Agreement’s internationally agreed goal of limiting it to 2 degrees Celsius.

If something’s not done fast, humanity will destroy the world to a point of no return.