The Paris Agreement has environmental benefits


Courtesy of UNFCC

The map indicates that the United States was withdrawing from the Paris Agreement under the Trump Administration.

“Our house is on fire,” said climate activist Greta Thunberg in 2019.

Since then, the United States has pumped billions of metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The country has withdrawn their agreement amongst countries to combat global warming. Even Andrew Wheeler, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator, has “undermined [America’s] time-honored role to protect public health and the environment” according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. With the election over, should President-elect Joe Biden re-enter the US into the Paris Agreement to fix our global warming mistakes?

In 2017, President Donald Trump notified the United Nations that he wanted to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. The agreement has been signed by 194 states and the European Union, including some of the world’s biggest carbon emitting countries. The Trump administration also rolled back “carbon pollution limits from power plants, cars, trucks and fossil fuel operations” over the past few years, WWXI news wrote. Critics say that Trump’s global warming actions “diminish the conclusions of scientists” and “often put his [own] political instincts ahead of the facts,” according to the New York Times.

Trump made his opinions clear on the Paris Agreement during a presidential briefing as he said “the Paris Accord is very unfair, at the highest level, to the United States” on June 1st, 2020. He also said “that [the Paris Agreement] put our country, the United States of America, which we all love, at a very, very big economic disadvantage.”

However, the Paris Agreement has positively affected our world and is inspiring thousands of people to be more aware of their own effects on the environment. For example, one man in India, Jadav Payeng, “almost single handedly [grew] 550 hectares of forest,” Climate Home News wrote. Additionally, according to Climate Home News, “140 countries have made a push towards expanding renewable energy.”

Joe Biden has promised to re-enter the Paris Agreement. In a tweet on November 4th, Biden wrote “Today, the Trump Administration officially left the Paris Climate Agreement. And in exactly 77 days, a Biden Administration will rejoin it.” Biden also has his own plans to combat climate change.

Without the Paris Agreement, the journal “Advances in Climate Change Research” asserts that “climate change will be affected by budget cuts in American climate change research.” The journal also wrote that withdrawal from the Agreement will “negatively affect science and technology cooperation between China and the U.S.”

Francois Hollande, the former President of France, said that “we have a single mission: to protect and hand on the planet to the next generation.”

If America wants to fulfill Hollande’s mission and listen to science, then it should re-enter the Paris Agreement. Over the past few years, the American government has failed to combat carbon emissions and other causes of global warming.

The Paris Agreement may help our nation to revisit its approach to tackling global warming. The Agreement will provide a path for reform around global warming under President-elect Joe Biden. It will also go hand-in-hand with Biden’s global warming plan.

Biden’s campaign website outlines his plan for a “Clean Energy Revolution” that will “address [global warming] and lead the world in addressing the climate emergency.”

Regardless, if the United States chooses not to join back into the Agreement, it is evident that global warming reform is needed immediately.

As Thunberg once said, our house is burning; we are the firefighters. We must hope that the government takes action, or our living room, the United States, will burn to a crisp.