Millennium Post

While the world suffers

While the world suffers

United States Senator and a US presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren makes it amply clear with her opinion piece for the Guardian that USA's withdrawal from the Paris agreement on climate change is one motivated least by global climate crisis and more by domestic power-mongering. She expresses that "President Trump has now fulfilled his disastrous promise to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement. The agreement represents decades of work by both Democratic and Republican administrations to achieve a common goal: bringing every country of the world together to tackle the climate crisis, the existential threat of our time." As President Trump serves notice to quit the 2015 Paris climate accord, climate diplomats are left with a task to chart a way forward without the cooperation of the world's largest economy. The Paris climate accord of 2015 is a landmark global agreement which brought together 188 nations, including India, to combat global warming. The previous American President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were particularly instrumental in formalising the agreement to reduce the hazardous greenhouse gas emissions. The announcement of USA's withdrawal from the large-scale climate deal was, however, made in June 2017 but the formal notification of procedural withdrawal was announced to begin this Monday and the US will be out of the pact on November 4, 2020. In explanation of America's decision, the UN spokesperson said that "In accordance with the provisions of its article 28, paragraph 1, the United States of America could withdraw from the Paris Agreement as from today by giving written notification to the Secretary-General". Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US approach incorporates the reality of the global energy mix and uses all energy sources and technologies cleanly and efficiently, including fossils fuels, nuclear energy and renewable energy. In justifying its own stand in maintaining healthier emission norms, the USA has only by the way expressed contempt for the world beyond its borders and refusal to acknowledge that global climate is in fact a collective global issue and any supposedly satisfactory conduct on part of an individual country might at best only mitigate the situation a little but not address it in a way that is required. Pompeo added that the US will continue to work with its global partners to enhance resilience to the impacts of climate change and prepare for and respond to natural disasters, but making such tall claims of willing to be at service without actually belonging to collective framework is only deceiving, demeaning, and hollow. While people also demand solid action to address climate crisis, Democrats vehemently criticise this move as "The growing climate crisis is the existential threat of our time, jeopardising the health and well-being of every family in every community around the world. President Trump's shockingly-reckless decision to formally pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement is yet another disastrous anti-science, anti-government decision that sells out our planet and our children's future," in the words of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. With little care for the lives of millions of people, putting his own personal agenda before the needs of the world's population, Trump's decision to walk out of the Paris climate accord amounts to negating and destroying global attempts that have been made so far to save humanity form the perils of developments with exploitative capitalist agenda. The fact remains that the climate emergency is among the greatest threats to lives and livelihoods in this age and its effects are pervasive realities that make themselves known in the form of famines, poverty, and homelessness in huge numbers across the world. Being the world's second biggest carbon emitter, the US [plays a pivotal role in preventing the catastrophes that will be inevitable unless greenhouse gas emissions are drastically reduced. The Paris climate accord that entered into force in November 2016 is ratified by 125 countries. Under this, the United States had committed to reduce emissions by 26–28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2025. Turning away from this commitment, President Trump, in his characteristic eccentricity, expressed his indifference for the world and humanity at large and also the efforts needed to ameliorate the climate crisis. Without strong action specifically in the direction of prevention, climate change is assessed to cause 250,000 deaths per year between 2030 and 2050 due to malaria, malnutrition, diarrhoea and heat stress. More than one billion people will see a severe reduction in water resources with a 2°C rise in the global mean temperature. It would increase the number of people at risk of hunger by at least 600 million by 2080 and displace at least 330 million people through flooding. Further, hundreds of millions of people would be denied their rights to life, health, food, water and housing. All of these assessments do not yet include the impact that will be borne by wildlife and the efforts that will be required to mitigate the effects of ecological imbalance thus created. While the debate with USA may be centred on the actions of a President and not on the pervasive concern of climate crisis at large, it remains a grim reality for the world that major area of emissions, which happens to be a very powerful country that wields considerable influence in world affairs, wishes to be invisible to the perils of climate change.

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