Since Trump made the announcement that he will take the U.S. out of the Agreement, U.S. envoys have continued their involvement- in line with their mandate- with U.N. climate negotiations to solidify details relating to the agreement. Further, thousands of nationwide leaders have stepped forward to assume the mantle, representing most Americans, who are in support of the Agreement.
Among state and city officials, private citizens, universities, and business leaders, there has been participation through such initiatives as the American Cities Climate Change, We Are still In, the United States Climate Alliance, and America’s Pledge. The goal of the movements, which sometimes overlap, is to accelerate and strengthen the bid to combat climate change on national and local levels. Each movement is working towards maintaining the U.S.’ efforts to work towards the Paris Agreement’s aims, in spite of Trump attempting to do just the opposite.
A summary of the Agreement
The document, which is 32 pages long, is a framework for international climate action, and includes the mitigation of climate change, as well as the adaption to it, support for developing countries, and the reporting and depending of climate aims.
Why is the Agreement so important?
It isn’t often nearly all countries are in agreement on one topic. When it comes to the Paris Agreement, however, leaders from across the globe came together to agree that climate change is a bona fide threat to humanity and the environment, that man is responsible for it, and that it needs all countries on board to stop it. It further established a very clear framework for each country to commit to emissions reduction and do more over time.
Beyond the Agreement
While the aim of the Agreement is to ultimately place a cap on the rise of global temperature at 1.5 degrees Celsius in this century, a number of studies that have assessed voluntary pledges made by individual countries in Paris reveal that the overall effect won’t be sufficient to ensure that temperatures remain under that cap. In fact, it’s anticipated that the targets that were set are expected to limit temperatures in the future to 2.7-3.7 degrees Celsius. Unfortunately, it seems that current assessments of how nations are meeting expectations of their climate goals laid out in the Agreement suggest that some are already performing below par.
It’s key to bear in mind that the Agreement is flexible, however. The idea is to see each nation’s efforts increase over time, which means that the present commitments are the minimum expected, not the maximum. A bigger goal is curbing emissions even more by the year 2030, and then again in 2050, is still needed, and the Agreement provides the necessary tools to see that happen.The Agreement highlights the climate deniers that exist in the U.S., most notably its President. However, the support shown for action to be taken against climate change in the U.S., along with the world, in general, offers hope that the Agreement has reached a positive turning point. Each one of us can contribute in some way in an effort to slash global warming contributions, at an individual level, as well as local and national levels.