Status Update: U.S. leaves Paris Climate Accord

WHAT IT IS

  • June 1, 2017: President Trump announced U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord.
  • The Paris Climate Accord was signed by 196 countries who vow to cut carbon emissions, work to combat global warming, and raise awareness on climate change.
  • Each country in agreement is tasked to set personal commitments and goals to reach these broad global concerns, with no penalties associated.
  • President Trump found the agreement to be unfair, stating in his announcement speech that it “disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries.”

WHY IT MATTERS

The U.S. was only 1 of 3 countries to not sign the agreement. With the U.S. out, other countries like China have made political and economic moves to fill the now vacant world leadership role. The accord was the first major international agreement focusing on pollution and climate change, so the U.S.’ departure leaves all eyes on Trump as he makes the next environmental decision for the nation.

  • THE SUPPORTERS – “America first!”

    • Booming business:   The Paris agreement was expected to cost $3 trillion and get rid of 6.5 million industrial jobs, so the recent withdrawal means sunny skies for fossil fuel companies.
    • Give America jobs:   During his announcement speech, President Trump stated that the agreement “doesn’t eliminate coal jobs, it just transfers those jobs out of America and the United States, and ships them to foreign countries.”
    • Who’s paying for this?:   A poll from the Heritage Foundation shows a 13-20% increased electric bill for Americans by 2035 if the United States stayed involved in the Paris agreement.
  • THE OPPOSITION – “Update America”

    • Stormy skies ahead:   Many scientists and climatologists have expressed their concerns of leaving the agreement and find President Trump’s withdrawal as a step back from environmental efforts.
    • Carbonless economy:   The U.S. economy is already successfully making the shift over from nonrenewable to eco-friendly energy industries, and to leave the agreement would halt the nation’s progress.
    • Flip-flop:   President Trump’s back and forth opinions and actions on climate change leave people feeling anxious as to the reasoning behind leaving the Paris agreement.

WHERE WE ARE NOW

  • Hawaii is the first state to sign state law aligning with the Paris accord. Several city governments across the U.S. promise to follow the agreement’s goals despite the withdrawal.
  • Fortune 500 companies, including oil and coal companies, are committed to the goals.
  • With the U.S. out, other agreement holders such as India and China stepped up to the plate in leading the Paris agreement to its goals.
  • Politicians and business administrators have reacted to President Trump’s decision, including CEOs leaving President Trump’s business advisory board.

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT

  • Read more on the Paris climate accord here.
  • A Gallup poll from March 2017 exhibits the nation’s divided opinion on global warming.
  • How much of a priority is investing in climate change?