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US now the only country not in the Paris Agreement

Courtesy of Sam Saunders

Courtesy of Sam Saunders

De Amor Crumb, Reporter/SCC

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An agreement reached at the end of 2015 set the stage to ensure the safety of the world’s environment.

A benchmark treaty that commits nearly 200 countries to reducing greenhouse gas emission substantially to combat global warming.

On Nov. 7, the announcement was made from the Syrian government that Syria would sign the Paris climate deal, leaving the United States as the only country to have not committed to the treaty.

There were many steps for a country to join the Paris agreement, some of which included signing the petition which demonstrates intent to join and in the future, formally ratifying the agreement as a country.

The Paris agreement is meant to be a nonbinding deal. It outlines ways each country could tailor the agreement to meet their needs. Allowing for flexibility for any country to meet their specific needs and self-setting goals.

On June 1, President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would leave the agreement stating that “The Paris Accord would undermine our economy, hamstring our workers, weaken our sovereignty, impose unacceptable legal risks, and put us at a permanent disadvantage to the other countries of the world.”

The Trump administration’s formal comment on the agreement is that “the United States is withdrawing unless we can re-enter on terms that are more favorable for our country.” Leaving the treaty comes as an example of the Trump administration’s more nationalism ideology regarding the “fairness” the United States deserve. Implying that the U.S. should take care of itself before anyone else.

Russell Haughey, a professor of biology at Scottsdale Community College, expressed his view point as an American citizen, on the outside looking in.

“We are missing an opportunity to be a leader in the biggest environmental issue of our time,” Haughey said. “It’s demonstrating that our leadership doesn’t respect scientific information. And it’s not a good thing for the world or for the nation.”

States such as California and New York plan to keep continuing efforts in their own programs to battle climate change. Companies like Microsoft and Google also stepped up to claim that they are still going to follow the Paris Agreement.

The Paris Agreement was a monumental treaty not because of the action to combat climate change, but because for the first time, most of the world’s countries came together to help the environment. The United States leaving this treaty may excuse our government from further acting on climate change.

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