Withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement A Self destructive decision of President Trump -Rumana Akhte


Alarming news came on 7th February 2017 in New York Times- “A Crack in an Antarctic Ice Shelf Grew 17 Miles long in the Last Two Months”. The fourth largest ice shelf is on way to full break. Scientist said that the condition is changing very quickly. According to a report published by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in the first week of September 2016- “the Southern Hemisphere has experienced intense warming over the past decade, with strong heat accumulation in the mid-latitude regions of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.” ‘The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’ (NOAA) observes that, during last decade, the sea level has been increased due to man-made climate change. And since 1955, 90% of the additional heat is retained by the earth due to the greenhouse gas emission. As a result, the ocean water is getting warmer and several sea-lives have been extinct due to hot wave of ocean. The researchers from Princeton and Rutgers University initiated a study where they found that US coastal areas are very hard to safe from flood. By 2050, New York will experience flood of 100 years in every 20 years; gradually the time cycle will be as shorten as one month. People have not forgotten about Hurricane Sandy in 2013 and miserable life during the snow storm in New York, in January 2016.
When American scientists are aware of all these facts Trump took a killing decision to pull US out from the Paris Agreement. This decision may benefit China, who is even a step ahead from US but no one should forget that if the sea level rises then the fictions we watch in movies might come true. Climate change is one of the most significant issues right now commonly discussed in any global platform. Carbon emission by United States is not insignificant because it comes in the second position. While the whole world is concern about the devastating effect of climate change and the future of next generation, the decision of Donald Trump left the world stunned. His decision of pulling out US from the Paris Agreement is simply not justified, not even the US media have any positive review about his decision. It sounds like he is keeping his promises made before election to the industrialist businessmen allies. Only the coal industries have shut their mouth because it would make their work easy and unquestionable.
This is not first incident where US has denied environmental issues. Kyoto Protocol was most influential agreement among nations, which emerged from UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992 popularly known as Earth Summit. The treaty was finalized by 1997 and after huge negotiation came into effect in 2005. All states had ratified the treaty by that time except United States and where China and the United States both are responsible for most green house gas emission. Subsequently in 2015, 197 states have rectified Paris Agreement to save the climate and minimize the adverse effects. The convention enters into force on 4th November 2016. The main concern of the Paris Agreement is to protect the world in a larger scenario and minimize the increasing temperature to slowdown the adverse effect of climate change. The central aim of the Paris Agreement is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping global temperature in this century below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature raise even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The aim of the agreement is supported and supplemented by other acts of the state parties. There are series of activities expected from a state party to accomplish to achieve the goal. Through Green climate Fund, which is part of the Agreement, $100 billion would be given to the developing countries to meet the devastation of climate change and technical assistance to meet the future necessities to combat unavoidable consequence and  adopt climate change.
No one should forget that the effect of climate change has a direct effect on the food production in the countries of South East Asia. Fields are flooded by salt water and become useless for years. The coastal areas of developing countries will face new crisis in upcoming years. For instance; Bangladesh would face a huge refugee crisis in its coastal areas in coming years due to the rise of sea level. Trump is violating all the international norms, mutual understanding, co-operation and international interest over national interest. When the production of the most dangerous elements of climate change is centered in the most developed nations; the effect is however not limited to them. After hearing the news of US withdrawal, Italy, Germany and France jointly released a statement condemning trump’s decision. By this decision, America joins Syria and Nicaragua, a small group of nations not concerning about the global effect of reducing carbon emission. However the reason behind non effectiveness of other two countries is totally different from US. Former vice presidential candidate and Virginia Senator Tim Kaine says that Donald Trump decided to pull the US out of the Paris climate Agreement because he is jealous of Barack Obama’s achievements. If his statement is even partially true that he is trying to remove all the decision taken by the former President Obama then the result of his jealousy costs the world an irreparable damage which is a big threat for the whole human being.
America is now so worried about their 3% economic growth and its tax payers from energy industry. Trump administration saying that the Agreement costs America a lot. However he has forgotten that the climate change would cost the world a lot; at present the sea level rise may be an issue to the developing countries, but very soon it would hit the other areas of the earth. If history repeats the Trump administration will rule United States for next 10 years. Then the world is in great danger for a decade. This is high time US people should take decision whether they are willing to continue the real spirit of US or just let one person destroy their reputation they have gained through years of struggle. US media is also opposing the decision of Mr. President. His decision is endangering the common effort of all the countries to save climate.
It is high time world leaders should make serious discussion against US regarding this issue. Economic or diplomatic blockade would not work for the most powerful state in the world. UN should take initiative and make US understand the actual effect of President Trump’s decision.  Apart from international level, the national level initiative can even work more effectively. The US media and civil society should work in hand to hand to reverse Trump’s decision. Silence can be self destructing weapon for American people now; the effect eventually spread in every corner of the world. This is high time American people should oppose the self destructing decision of their leader; otherwise no one is going live once life as they have planned, because unwanted natural disasters can strike anytime and anywhere. n
The Writer is Sr. Lecturer in Law at the University of Development Alternative

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