Although the evidence provided by scientists proves that global warming is real, president Donald Trump believes that it is not. At every stage of his campaign he openly and shamelessly declared that he did not believe in climate change. During his first 100 days as president he declared that, “the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord,” and those that were combating climate change began to worry. The Paris Agreement was significant because it was the first time that all countries came together, with the exception of Syria and Nicaragua, to make an accord to combat climate change.
In a letter from the Whitehouse written to Prof. Neil Leary, when regarding his comment about the Paris Agreement and the United States’ decision to withdraw, the POTUS stated that part of the reason that the U.S. withdrew was because, “It [the Paris Agreement] would require the transfer of billions of their hard-earned dollars to other countries through the Green Climate Fund.”
Established by the countries who are parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010, the Green Climate Fund was formed to help underdeveloped nations develop measures for adaptation to effects of climate change and mitigation. In 2015, when the accord was reached, it was given the role of using the funds wisely to create projects that will contribute to the environment in positive ways. Projects such as The Universal Green Energy Access Programme and the Saïss Water Conservation Project in Morocco, among many others, have been developed. There is a large number of countries, developed and undeveloped, that altogether have pledged to give 10.3 billion (US dollars). One knows however that developed countries are able to give more than underdeveloped countries due to their GDP being much higher. Underdeveloped nations are unable to take the steps necessary on their own due to the fact that they simply don’t have the resources.
Why Should the United States Contribute?
The United States is one of the greatest emitters of green house gases in the world. Their consumption of coal, oil, and gas for their main sources of energy, has made a negative impact on the environment. Due to rising temperatures, the ice caps are melting which causes the sea level to rise which causes flooding, the air and the sea is getting polluted which causes sickness and coral briefs to disappear, the air to get warmer which has led to more catastrophic natural disasters, and many other changes to occur. Many of the nations being hurt by the consumption of others are nations that have barely contributed to the GHGs emissions. In the Documentary Before the Flood by Leonardo Dicaprio, the president of Kiribati, a small island in the pacific, stated that he had bought an island from Fiji so that if anyone wanted to migrate they could do so. This shows that they really do not have much of an option. It is the poor of each nation that will be the victims of the first effects of climate change.
Donald Trump claims that the Paris Agreement is only going to affect the United States in negative ways because nations will be taking advantage of the US. However, climate change does not only affect those nations, it affects the entire world, including the U.S. Scientists have put so much effort into trying to explain why it is important that we take action now for such a long time, and there are people that still deny it. It is not about taking advantage, it is a collective effort and most nations are contributing what they can. Even if the rest of the world is making an effort to help underdeveloped nations and are doing what they can to transfer to sustainable energy, the United States is one of the nations that could and should contribute. The U.S. pledged to give 3 Billion Dollars, while up to date they have given 500,000 dollars. In addition, there are many other nations that on a per-capita basis have actually pledge to give more than the United States. Countries such as Sweden, Norway, and Japan will be giving more.
I always thought, the United States would not take action until one of their main cities is destroyed. Currently we are witnessing two of the most catastrophic hurricanes that have hit the United States. Hurricane Harvey which left thousands without a home in Houston, Texas, and Hurricane Irma which will be affecting the entire state of Florida. Although one cannot say that climate change caused the hurricane, the warm temperatures in the atmosphere have caused them to be stronger which leads to more destruction.
FOUNTAIN, NADJA POPOVICH and HENRY. “What Is the Green Climate Fund and How Much Does the U.S. Actually Pay?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 2 June 2017, www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/02/climate/trump-
Green Climate Fund. (2017). Green Climate Fund. http://www.greenclimate.fund/home [Accessed 9 Sep. 2017].
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. “Status of Ratification.” The Paris Agreement – Main Page, 10 Apr. 2017, unfccc.int/paris_agreement/items/9485.php.
YouTube. (2017). Before the Flood. https://youtu.be/ZFmVRsQho4Y [Accessed 9 Sep. 2017].