In a world where the impact of climate change is becoming more obvious, an announcement by US President Donald Trump on June 1 dealt a huge blow to global environmental campaigners.
Trump announced at the White House that he would pull the US out of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The move was one of the campaign promises he made during last year’s presidential election.
The Paris Agreement was reached in 2015 by 195 countries, including China, the US and France. It went into effect in November, setting the goal of making sure the global temperature doesn’t climb 2 C higher than it was in the 1800s.
According to NBC News, the US promised to lower its emissions (排放) between 26 and 28 percent by 2025, and to contribute $3 billion (20.4 billion yuan) to the United Nations to help developing countries deal with the effects of climate change.
But it was these promises that made Trump argue that the agreement is unfair to the US. He claimed that it would damage the country’s economy and cost it jobs. “This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States,” he said.
Trump’s announcement has caused a stir around the world, and US business leaders shared their disappointment with the decision. Twenty-five companies, including technology giants Apple, Facebook and Google, released a letter that asked Trump not to leave the agreement. It read: “continued US participation in the agreement benefits US businesses and the US economy in many ways”.
Political leaders across the world also criticized Trump’s decision. “It’s an actual mistake both for the US and for our planet,” said French President Emmanuel Macron in a televised speech on June 1. “Wherever we live, whoever we are, we all share the same responsibility: Make our planet great again.”
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, said in a press conference on June 1 that China will continue to work hard to carry out the promises that were made when the country signed up to the Paris Agreement, while joining other countries to deal with climate change.
Following Trump’s action, experts believe it will be considerably harder for the remaining countries involved in the agreement to reach their goals, especially given the loss of the US’ multi-billion dollar funding, reported The Telegraph. The US is also responsible for around 15 percent of global emissions of carbon dioxide.
But Trump’s decision doesn’t mean the US has given up on the environment. Many US cities, states and companies have said that they will go on with their own plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the New York Times.
“Even with the Trump administration in place, the global trend toward renewable energies is continuing – including in the United States,” Niklas Hohne, a founding partner at the NewClimate Institute in Cologne, Germany, told US science journal Nature.
“即便有了特朗普政府，可再生能源的全球趋势仍在持续 —— 在美国国内也是如此，”德国科隆新气候研究所的创始合伙人尼克勒斯·汉纳在接受美国科学期刊《自然》采访时说道。