Donald Trump has announced that he will withdraw the United States from the historic Paris Accord, leaving the worldwide fight against global warming, ceding leadership, and placing future populations in danger.
This agreement has been signed by 194 nations who have agreed to cut carbon emissions and combat global warming. The nations have agreed to keep the global temperature increase below 2 degrees Celsius. The United States is the biggest carbon polluter in history, though China is the biggest polluter currently. As such, the US has agreed to cut emissions by 28% by 2025.
Trump promised his supporters that he would pull out of the Paris Agreement, primarily because he believes that cutting emissions and increasing environmental regulations will “stifle” American jobs. However, innovations in these areas could actually create jobs as more people will be needed to produce clean energy sources. Trump’s reasoning for wanting to end the Paris Agreement has been based on falsehoods and a refusal to accept the facts, even as the impacts of global warming become more and more evident.
Pulling out of this agreement prioritizes profit over people, endangering our homes, the air we breathe and the world we inhabit. What’s more, Black and brown communities are especially at risk for the negative effects of climate change.
Low income people and people of color often live in areas that are less protected by environmental statutes, or they have fewer resources to advocate against corporate greed that results in polluted water and air. The cuts that the Trump Administration is proposing for the EPA all but does away with the Environmental Justice Program that has protected and strengthened environmental regulations and improvements in these communities.
Climate change and pollution is an intersectional fight, as pollution hurts expecting parents, children and families. We have seen indigenous communities pushed aside for oil pipes in North Dakota. Developing nations are often hurt the most by the extreme weather brought about by climate change.
Trump’s stance toward the Paris Agreement is dangerous and immoral. Refusing to comply with the agreement puts the US on the wrong side of history and in the global minority: only 2 other nations, Nicaragua and Syria oppose the Paris Agreement. Any moral authority that the US claims is further diminished by this head in the sand approach to one of the biggest problems of our time.