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Why Leaving the Paris Agreement was the Right Move

Picture Credit: Gage Skidmore

The past few days have been marked by selective outrage regarding President Trump’s decision to remove the U.S. from the United Nations’ Paris climate agreement.

Following the decision, a host of international leaders have voiced their displeasure, including French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Macron, who recently won the French election, said, “I do think it is an actual mistake both for the U.S. and for our planet.”

Merkel was a bit more direct with her words, stating, “The decision of the U.S. President to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement is extremely regrettable, and I’m expressing myself in very restrained terms.”

While the responses from these leaders were predictable, they couldn’t have been too surprised about President Trump’s withdrawal from this agreement. Nearly a year ago, when Trump was still on the campaign trail, he made a promise to pull out of the Paris climate agreement. By making promises such as this one, Trump laid out a business-first vision for America, one that voters ultimately agreed with and elected him to fulfill. Keeping this promise was a good political move for Trump, but more importantly, leaving the agreement was the right move for the United States, and here’s why.

The Paris Agreement would have had severe lasting damage to the U.S. economy

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross explained it better than I could when he said, “I think the economic case is quite clear. This was a terrible business deal that was engineered, not on behalf of the U.S.’s best interests.”

He continued, “This was a deal that would have cost the economy $3 trillion over the next several decades. By 2040, our economy would have lost six-and-a-half million industrial sector jobs – almost half of which, 3.1 million, were in the manufacturing sector. That doesn’t make any sense to me.”

Ross articulates the nonsense of this agreement in his statement, explaining how disastrous it would be for the United States to follow through with their commitment. It would have resulted in millions of lost jobs and trillions of dollars spent, completely crushing our economy.

The agreement only redistributes jobs and energy production around the world

While it would have cost the U.S. billions and eliminated millions of jobs, the Paris climate agreement allowed other countries to not only continue polluting at their current levels, but increase their emissions. China’s commitment to the agreement allowed them to increase emissions for the next 13 years.

Also, India was set to receive billions of dollars of aid from the United Nations in order to control pollution. At the same time, the country currently has plans to build 370 new coal plants, which seems completely at odds with their pledge to reduce pollution.

President Trump explained it perfectly when he said, “In short, the agreement doesn’t eliminate coal jobs, it just transfers those jobs out of America and the United States, and ships them to foreign countries,” President Trump said. “This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States.”

And he’s 100% correct.

The Paris climate agreement had no enforceable standards

Out of hundreds of countries that have signed and ratified the Paris climate accord, only three European Union countries are pursuing the goals the agreement set out, according to the EU Climate Leadership Board. For example, Germany has seen two straight years of increased emissions, and some countries, like the Philippines, have gone so far as to declare that they will not honor the commitments they made to the agreement.

The U.S. doesn’t need this agreement to reduce emissions

While other countries are ramping up their consumption of energy, the U.S. continues to reduce ours without an international agreement. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said, “We have reduced our CO2 footprint to levels of the 1990s. That’s been largely accomplished by technology, not government.”

Thanks to new technologies like fracking, CO2 emissions in America have fallen 12% from the year 2005. We don’t need to lose as much as 2.7 million jobs by 2025 and spend hundreds of billions of dollars to the United Nations in order to reduce American CO2 emissions. We’re doing just fine without government involvement, thanks.

Putting America First

In short, the Paris climate agreement was never a save-the-world United Nations pact. Identical to the doomed Kyoto Protocol agreement, the agreement was a calculated attack to force the United States to pay for the energy consumption of countries around the world.

It would have finished off our coal and manufacturing industries cost the United States trillions of dollars over the next few decades. Even if every country involved followed through on their commitments, MIT scientists calculated that the global temperature would only decrease .2 degrees Celsius by the year 2100, hardly worth the effort and resources.

By removing the United States from the Paris climate agreement, President Trump put the people that elected him first, instead of the economic interests of far-off countries. This was a great move by the president, and I hope to see more of the same in weeks to come.

Follow the author on Twitter: @chaimstarkey

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About Chaim Starkey (13 Articles)
Chaim Starkey - Marylander, writer, traveler. Starkey is a recent graduate of the University of Maryland. He served as the Communications Director for Plaster for Congress.

1 Comment on Why Leaving the Paris Agreement was the Right Move

  1. I agree with you. When it comes to our foreign treaties and agreements it would seem obvious that logic apply over emotion. The financial and economic consequences of our participation in that agreement were worse than onerous and unfair. As a nation we do a good job of conservation and we set high goals for industry that are mostly within reason. We were not one of the nations classified as a major global contributor making no efforts to ameliorate or lessen their global carbon footprint.
    The provisions and obligations were well organized and clearly explained. I enjoyed your post!

    Like

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