Paris Climate Accord – Implications of US exitWhy in News?· On June 1, 2017, PresidentTrump formally announced that US would quitthe Paris Agreement.· There has been widespread condemnation of USexit at global level. UN Secretary General’s spokesperson called it a majordisappointment and EU termed it a sad day for the world.· Us coalindustry and some Republican members supported the move.
What is under Paris Accord?· Paris agreement calls for holding the increasein the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levelsand to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C abovepre-industrial levels.· Paris agreement, which takes effect in 2020,calls on nations to establish a fund (Green Climate Fund) of at least $100 billiona year in climate-related financing by 2020.· Paris agreement do not have historicalresponsibility clause.· Paris agreement is not legally binding. Why such a decision by Trump Administration?· Trump mentioned the Paris Agreement would costUS millions of jobs.
· Trump wants to fulfil his promises made during electioncampaign. He wants Paris Agreement to get renegotiated.· Green Climate Fund is costing the U.S. a vast amountof money.
· According to critics of the agreement, Paris dealwill be successful only when all the countries meet their intended nationallydetermined contributions (INDCs) but this is not going to happen whileagreement is not legally binding, the other countries will enjoy thisflexibility while US will have to face serious regulations.· A sectionof American community considers that paying for the regulation imposed is alooser ship rather than a leadership.· Due to fracking Revolution, the United Statesemission has decreased in previous years so what is the requirement of furtherregulations.What is the validity of claims made by Trump Administration? Do you thinkParis Agreement would be more effective in cutting pollution or cutting jobs?· After declaration of withdrawal of US from ParisAgreement former US President Obama released a statement. “The nationsthat remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefitsin jobs and industries created”· Clean Energy sector is the one of the fastestgrowing sector of US.
· Growth in solar energy outpaces the growth inother sectors not only in US but across the World. Millions of jobs have beencreated in Solar, Wind, Advanced Batteries, Energy Efficiency etc.USA’s intended nationally determined contributions (INDC)?To reduce its carbon emissions from2005 levels by 26-28 per cent by 2025.
Are the efforts taken by USA sufficient?U.S. is the largest contributor to climate change,responsible for 21 per cent of the accumulated stock of carbon in theatmosphere. It is the second-largest contributor (with about 15% share, afterChina’s 30% per cent) to the current flow of global carbon emissions. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) demands ofdeveloped countries, is 25-40 per cent reduction below 1990 levels to stabiliseGHG concentrations, so that the temperature increase is limited to 2 °C.
Comparison of US and EU effortsWhile, the E.U. made a commitment of “at least 40 per cent”reduction from 1990 levels. From 1990 to 2005, U.S.
emissions rose by 17 percent, making its Paris commitments just 9-11 per cent from 1990 levels. U.S. is greatly advantaged compared with theE.
U. Other steps of Trump Administration which are setback for Climate ProtectionInitiatives· Clean Power Plan of Obama administration whichaimed at combating global warming was also revoked by Trump Administration. ThePlan meant to reduce emissions from electricity sector by an estimated 32percent below 2005 levels by 2030 with a view to shift away from coal firedenergy and limit usage of natural gas.
· Additionally, Obama’s administration sixmoratorium on climate change were also repealed bringing to light that USadministration’s focus is on fossilizing its economy and achievement of climategoals seemed no in near future. Impact of USA’s withdrawal from the agreement · The Financial aid for the developing countries todevelop clean energy capabilities is in jeopardy. The road map for rich countries to provide US$100 billion annually starting 2020 looks more dubious than before.· US by its actions also sets a bad precedent onother players who could follow US foot-steps. · Countries which lack capabilities like Maldives,Bangladesh will be the worst sufferers.· Renegotiation if occur, will be more disruptive.
Paris agreement was itself a huge compromise. It makes Weak Paris Agreement weakerMore than half of Americans believe that climate change willharm people in the US. But lower than 40% believe it will harm me personally.
(Source -Yale University poll)Implications on India· US largest most responsible nation has walkedaway, now countries like China and India may have to take more responsibility. · Climate Funding for cleaner technologies may getaffected which will further limit the climate protection measures. Would it also impact the Geopolitical Importance of United States atInternational Level?This is not the first time that the U.
S. is pulling out ofan international climate agreement. It withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol claimingthat emerging economies did not have quantified emission targets. Further italso withdrew from the United NationsEducational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), TPP etc. This willaffect United States negotiating power at global level.How the withdrawal Mechanism works under Paris Climate Agreement?Article 28 of the Paris Agreement states that parties cannotapply for withdrawal for first three years.What is the way forward for Trump Administration?· Paris agreement, was negotiated by 195 parties tothe United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on December 12,2015, and it came into force on November 4, 2016. · According to Article 28.
2 of the agreement, evenif the Trump administration were to submit a written notification on withdrawalto the U.N. Secretary- General on the very day of expiry of the three-yearperiod, the notification could take effect only after a year from that date,which means that a U.S. withdrawal can take effect at the earliest on November4, 2020. Efforts with in the United States towards Environment Protection· There are states in US like California and NewYork which has their own regulations that are very advanced. Other example interms of Environment protection are, states like Virginia which have switchedto gas from coal.
· Californian Governor signed an agreement withChina to work towards lowering greenhouse gas emissions. How EU can manage the situation in during such climate crises andwithdrawal of US? · EU needs to forge a strategy of dealing withplayers like US who are all set to re-fossilize their economies thus greatlyundermining the goals of the Paris Agreement. · EU-China joint leadership on climate change is awelcome step but at the same time it would also be tough to implementconsidering that China has no track record on dealing with soft issues likeclimate change.
Way Forward· Climate change is the global problem, so it willaffect United States too. As here are no punitive measures one can take againstUSA due to legally non-binding nature of Paris Agreement therefore bilateral ormultilateral talks to bring the US back to Climate related discussions is theonly way ahead. · We need to find the strategy to strengthen theParis Agreement. · As the global community is struggling toimplement the Paris Agreement, the International Organisations like EU needs tostep up its action. · Climate change, green finance, and sustainabledevelopment were high on the agenda during latest G-20 meet in Hamburg (2017)this is a welcome initiative.
· It is also well known that with the currentParis pledges, the global temperature rise by the end of century will be about3.3 °C, which means countries need to ramp up their commitments a great dealmore, not lower them. Thus, the climate partnership need to be forged morestrongly.