Make the World Great Again: What You Need to Know About the Paris Climate Agreement

Every year is the warmest year on record. Climate change is real and the most vulnerable countries, such as the Philippines, are living with the effects of abusive human activities. Corals are bleaching; weather conditions are becoming more extreme; sea levels are rising; and the list goes on.

We need action more than sympathy. Thus, the Paris Agreement was put to motion on Nov. 2016. Shedding light on the looming fate of the world and putting an end to further global destruction.

Last Thursday, June 2, the U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris Agreement. In his announcement he claims, “As someone who cares deeply about our environment, I cannot in good conscience support a deal which punishes the United States.”

What is he talking about and what are the parameters of said agreement anyway? Here’s a brief background on the Paris Agreement.

Top Priority

Paris Agreement is also called the Paris Climate Agreement or the Paris Climate Accord. It promises to limit the global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius. According to scientists, 2 degrees is the limit before consequences become irreversible. It gets more ambitious when they also pledged for a target goal of 1.5 degrees.

Without collaborative drastic actions and efforts such as the Paris Agreement, temperature is forecasted to reach 2.7 to 3 degrees Celsius by 2100.

Upon agreement, all parties are to submit NDCs or Nationally Determined Contributions to the United Nations, which will be assessed every five years.

The goal is to bring down greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. Meaning to put a balance between emissions and the ability of natural resources to absorb carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Building a New World

The solution requires money, political will, and collaborative efforts from all participating countries. One of the major resolutions stated in the agreement is a move to a greener technology leading to creating greener industries.

Climate financing is key for this to work. The developed world is set to contribute a minimum $100 billion to developing countries for climate adaptation and mitigation projects every year.

Americans for America or the World?

Upon his withdrawal, Donald Trump discontinues the implementation of carbon reduction projects to achieve 26 to 28 percent decrease (target set during Obama’s administration) in 10 years. He also ceases the country’s contributions to the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund.

However, there is a good side to every story. After Trump’s announcement, many states have extended their support to the Paris Agreement. Hawaii even passed two laws to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support the development of sustainable agricultural practices.

So yes, we can still make the world great again with or without Trump.


Art by Jan Bautista

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