« Abandoning the Paris agreement is cruel for future generations, » said Andrew Steer, president and CEO of the World Resources Institute, about the Trump administration`s decision to formally withdraw the United States from the agreement. The U.S. will lose much stronger jobs and economy that will bring a low-carbon future, Steer said in a statement. In the end, nations will do what they have national political will. The Paris Agreement reflects the fact that the collective will to fight climate change remains woefully absent. But there`s already been some damage. That came at a time when Trump announced his intention to leave the agreement and began removing Obama`s climate rules. This has twice made a Democratic president who signed an international climate agreement, and a Republican resigned (the first was the Kyoto Protocol, signed by Clinton in 1997, but never ratified by Bush). Even if a Democrat wins in 2020 and rejoins the agreement, who would believe that the commitment will continue beyond 2024? The 2015 Paris Climate Agreement was a new approach. Instead of pursuing legally binding goals, it simply invited countries to submit voluntary commitments or national contributions (CNN). These NDCs are not binding, but the countries submitting them agree to monitor their progress and report on them every five years, in regular « inventories, » starting in 2023. The future of the agreement depends to a large extent on the outcome of this election.
Negotiators are already fighting for a plan for Trump`s second term. The authors of the agreement have set a withdrawal period that President Trump must follow – which prevents him from irreparably harming our climate. While the agreement has been welcomed by many, including French President Francois Hollande and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, criticism has also emerged. James Hansen, a former NASA scientist and climate change expert, expressed anger that most of the agreement is made up of « promises » or goals, not firm commitments.  He called the Paris talks a fraud with « nothing, only promises » and believed that only a generalized tax on CO2 emissions, which is not part of the Paris agreement, would force CO2 emissions down fast enough to avoid the worst effects of global warming.  Bridging this gap requires quick and costly efforts, and the Paris Agreement does not have the opportunity to attribute these efforts, to ensure that a given party plays its fair share, or to punish countries that comply with them. In the meantime, the Countries of Europe that actually have the objective of having the 1200 coal-fired power plants currently under construction or approval in emerging countries in the 2020s, making it impossible to achieve a 2-degree limit. You promised to put America at the forefront of everything you do, and you did it in different ways, from trade to national security, to protecting our borders, to the rights of Washington, D.C.