Paris Climate Accord – Implications of US exit
Why in News?
On June 1, 2017, President
Trump formally announced that US would quit
the Paris Agreement.
There has been widespread condemnation of US
exit at global level. UN Secretary General’s spokesperson called it a major
disappointment and EU termed it a sad day for the world.
industry and some Republican members supported the move.
What is under Paris Accord?
Paris agreement calls for holding the increase
in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels
and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above
Paris agreement, which takes effect in 2020,
calls on nations to establish a fund (Green Climate Fund) of at least $100 billion
a year in climate-related financing by 2020.
Paris agreement do not have historical
Paris agreement is not legally binding.
Why such a decision by Trump Administration?
Trump mentioned the Paris Agreement would cost
US millions of jobs.
Trump wants to fulfil his promises made during election
campaign. He wants Paris Agreement to get renegotiated.
Green Climate Fund is costing the U.S. a vast amount
According to critics of the agreement, Paris deal
will be successful only when all the countries meet their intended nationally
determined contributions (INDCs) but this is not going to happen while
agreement is not legally binding, the other countries will enjoy this
flexibility while US will have to face serious regulations.
of American community considers that paying for the regulation imposed is a
looser ship rather than a leadership.
Due to fracking Revolution, the United States
emission has decreased in previous years so what is the requirement of further
What is the validity of claims made by Trump Administration? Do you think
Paris Agreement would be more effective in cutting pollution or cutting jobs?
After declaration of withdrawal of US from Paris
Agreement former US President Obama released a statement. “The nations
that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits
in jobs and industries created”
Clean Energy sector is the one of the fastest
growing sector of US.
Growth in solar energy outpaces the growth in
other sectors not only in US but across the World. Millions of jobs have been
created in Solar, Wind, Advanced Batteries, Energy Efficiency etc.
USA’s intended nationally determined contributions (INDC)?
To reduce its carbon emissions from
2005 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 the
atmosphere. It is the second-largest contributor (with about 15% share, after
China’s 30% per cent) to the current flow of global carbon emissions.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) demands of
developed countries, is 25-40 per cent reduction below 1990 levels to stabilise
GHG concentrations, so that the temperature increase is limited to 2 °C.
Comparison of US and EU efforts
While, 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 per
cent, making its Paris commitments just 9-11 per cent from 1990 levels. U.S. is greatly advantaged compared with the
Other steps of Trump Administration which are setback for Climate Protection
Clean Power Plan of Obama administration which
aimed at combating global warming was also revoked by Trump Administration. The
Plan meant to reduce emissions from electricity sector by an estimated 32
percent below 2005 levels by 2030 with a view to shift away from coal fired
energy and limit usage of natural gas.
Additionally, Obama’s administration six
moratorium on climate change were also repealed bringing to light that US
administration’s focus is on fossilizing its economy and achievement of climate
goals seemed no in near future.
Impact of USA’s withdrawal from the agreement
The Financial aid for the developing countries to
develop 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 on
other 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 weaker
More than half of Americans believe that climate change will
harm 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 walked
away, now countries like China and India may have to take more responsibility.
Climate Funding for cleaner technologies may get
affected which will further limit the climate protection measures.
Would it also impact the Geopolitical Importance of United States at
This is not the first time that the U.S. is pulling out of
an international climate agreement. It withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol claiming
that emerging economies did not have quantified emission targets. Further it
also withdrew from the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), TPP etc. This will
affect 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 cannot
apply for withdrawal for first three years.
What is the way forward for Trump Administration?
Paris agreement, was negotiated by 195 parties to
the 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, even
if the Trump administration were to submit a written notification on withdrawal
to the U.N. Secretary- General on the very day of expiry of the three-year
period, 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 November
Efforts with in the United States towards Environment Protection
There are states in US like California and New
York which has their own regulations that are very advanced. Other example in
terms of Environment protection are, states like Virginia which have switched
to gas from coal.
Californian Governor signed an agreement with
China to work towards lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
How EU can manage the situation in during such climate crises and
withdrawal of US?
EU needs to forge a strategy of dealing with
players like US who are all set to re-fossilize their economies thus greatly
undermining the goals of the Paris Agreement.
EU-China joint leadership on climate change is a
welcome step but at the same time it would also be tough to implement
considering that China has no track record on dealing with soft issues like
Climate change is the global problem, so it will
affect United States too. As here are no punitive measures one can take against
USA due to legally non-binding nature of Paris Agreement therefore bilateral or
multilateral talks to bring the US back to Climate related discussions is the
only way ahead.
We need to find the strategy to strengthen the
As the global community is struggling to
implement the Paris Agreement, the International Organisations like EU needs to
step up its action.
Climate change, green finance, and sustainable
development 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 current
Paris pledges, the global temperature rise by the end of century will be about
3.3 °C, which means countries need to ramp up their commitments a great deal
more, not lower them. Thus, the climate partnership need to be forged more