President Trump’s letter explaining why the United States is pulling out of the Paris Agreement is full of lies and muddled half-truths. This essay will focus in on Trump’s claim that the United States economy and workforce would be drastically hurt by transitioning from the current carbon-based economy to one fueled primarily by green energy. He states that,” while the agreement would have a negligible effect on climate change, it would impose unfair burdens on American workers and hurt our Nation’s global competitiveness” (Trump 2017). I interpret the statement that the Paris Agreement would ‘impose burdens on American workers and hurt our nation’s global competitiveness’ in reference to our economic strength and worker employment which he mentions in greater detail midway through the essay. (The Paris Agreement would) “put millions of American jobs at risk, particularly those in manufacturing and other energy-intensive industries” (Trump 2017). I would rank these statements as ‘mostly false’ in regards to the politifact ranking scale.
First, he states that the agreement would have a negligible (insignificant) effect on climate change. To say that the Paris Accords goal of keeping global temperatures from rising is insignificant completely overlooks the importance of keeping global temperature rise as small as possible in order to minimize the greatest impacts of climate change. This statement is completely false due to how the United States is the second highest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, which makes all efforts by U.S. to cut down on GHG emissions extremely vital (IPCC 2014).
Second, Trump’s letter states that the Paris Agreement would burden “American workers and hurt our Nation’s global competitiveness… (and) put millions of American jobs at risk, especially those in manufacturing and other energy-intensive industries” (Trump 2017). In a report from the Center for American Progress, it is projected that investments in green energy would bolster the U.S. economy and provide millions of new jobs in the green energy sector (Pollin et al. 2009). Their analyses predicts that roughly 2.5 million new jobs could be created through investments by the U.S. government and private industry into renewable energy in a decade alone (Pollin et al. 2009). While Trumps point that the transition away from fossil fuels to green energy would take away jobs from workers in manufacturing and other energy-intensive industries is true, the Center for American Progress’s report details that only about 800,000 jobs would be lost in these industries in comparison to the 2.5 million new jobs that would be created in the green energy sector. Staying in the Paris Accord and continuing to cut our greenhouse gas emissions by transitioning to a green economy would both stimulate the economy and create jobs, thus rendering Trump’s claims to be untrue.
President Trump’s letter of why he withdrew the united states from the Paris Accord is unfounded on many levels. The threat of Climate Change to the United States and the world is growing every day that the ‘business as usual’ mindsets continues. Trump’s reasoning of why staying in the Paris Accord would hurt American workers and the economy is ignoring the conspicuous fact that a green economy would provide millions of jobs, strengthen the U.S. economy, and simultaneously lower the United States amount of greenhouse gas emissions. With the threat of climate change growing larger every day, it is absolutely necessary for the United States to stay on track with its plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In the future, I hope that the United States will do what is needed to combat climate change, regardless of what President Trump has done.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Climate Change 2014–Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability: Regional Aspects. Cambridge University Press, 2014.
Pollin, Robert, James Heintz, and Heidi Garrett-Peltier. The Economic Benefits of Investing in Clean Energy: How the economic stimulus program and new legislation can boost US economic growth and employment. No. economic_benefits. Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, 2009.