The Strategist

Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement shocks the world

06/02/2017 - 14:43

The United States' decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement caused a sharp negative reaction in the world. President Donald Trump's policy in other countries was called a "mistake about the future of the whole planet", a "real slap in the face" for those who developed a "good and efficient agreement", and even "a betrayal of Mother Earth." Mr. Trump himself, however, argues that the United States will in any case continue to make every effort to protect the environment, and are even ready to start developing a new international treaty.

Basil D Soufi
Basil D Soufi
Once the withdrawal from the Paris Agreement was announced, Donald Trump held a number of phone conversations with world leaders, in particular French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and British and Canadian Prime Ministers Theresa May and Justin Trudeau. The American leader tried to convey the idea that the US does not intend to abandon the protection of the environment.

World leaders, however, have some doubts about this. The decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, according to which 195 countries agreed not to allow an increase in the average temperature on the planet by more than 2 degrees by 2100 Celsius in comparison with the pre-industrial era, was accepted unambiguously. Justin Trudeau told he was "deeply disappointed" in connection with the White House’s decision. Theresa May noted: "The Paris agreement provides a reliable global system for protecting prosperity and security of future generations while preserving affordable and safe energy for our citizens and businesses". And Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni issued a joint statement: "The impulse that arose in Paris in December 2015 is irreversible, and we are firmly convinced that the Paris Agreement cannot be re-examined because it is a vitally important tool for our planet, society and economy". 

"I regret that the United States took such a step", said Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders. "This is a fundamental mistake that will have a negative impact on citizens around the world, including in the United States". "Especially in New York and the UN, for many people who took part in the negotiations for several years to develop a good and workable agreement, this was a real slap in the face". "The European Union deeply regrets this unilateral decision", European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Miguel Arias Cañete summed up all statements of the EU politicians.

The White House’s decision has also been criticized in other regions of the world. The authorities of Peru, Mexico, Japan, Australia, Brazil issued relevant statements. Bolivian President Evo Morales commented the most emotionally on Washington’s news. "Leaving the Paris agreement is a huge betrayal of Mother Earth, which is the common home of life and humanity", he wrote on Twitter. "We live in a world in which the US has become a threat to peace, Mother Earth and diversity… Refusal of the Paris Agreement means there is no guarantee for the future generations’ lives. Capitalism is the worst enemy of mankind". 

One of the key authors of the Paris Agreement, former US President Barack Obama, is, however, optimistic. He said that signing the document "opened up opportunities for enterprises, scientists, engineers to reveal the potential of high-tech and low-carbon investment and innovation on an unprecedented scale". At the same time, Mr. Obama added: "Even if this administration has joined a small number of states that deny the future, I am confident that our states, cities and businesses will become more active and will do even more to play a leading role and contribute to the preservation of the only planet that we have for future generations". 

Recall, Donald Trump himself also claims that the US will continue to make efforts to protect the environment. "We are withdrawing from the Paris agreement, but we are beginning negotiations on re-entering into it on new terms, or drafting a new agreement", Mr. Trump said. Explaining his decision, he noted: the conditions under which the United States assumed obligations in the Paris Agreement were extremely unprofitable for the American economy and American companies. According to Donald Trump, participation in the agreement could make the US lose about 2.7 million jobs by 2025. In addition, losses of individual industries of the country would amount to 12% and 86% by 2040. Mr. Trump estimated the loss of GDP by the same date at $ 3 trillion. 

Earlier he repeatedly noted that the agreement would have hit the US, but would enrich countries such as India and China.

Mr. Trump has not yet explained what exactly he wants to see in the new agreement. Moreover, other countries are unlikely to renew the contract and sign a new document. As Emmanuel Macron, in particular, put it, "there cannot be other plan, since we do not have another planet".