Am I really furious about Mr Trump’s decision to quit the Paris Climate Change Agreement?

At first glance, Riche could only feel indignation at Trump’s dismissal of the Paris Climate agreement, but as he delves deeper, he realises that this rebutted anger can be channelled into something positive.

Opinion piece by Jean-Pierre Riche.

After such a long process over the years to reach an agreement in Paris COP 21, and setting a new dynamic for the fight against climate change, Mr. Trump’s decision to pull the USA out of the Paris Climate agreement made me furious!

His public reasons are untrue and feed the idea that human activities do not impact the climate. The reality, Trump said, is that withdrawing is both “in America’s economic interest and won’t matter much to the climate.” He added that his administration “will continue to be the cleanest and most environmentally friendly country on Earth”. Can you believe it?!

Stopping the rise of the Earth’s temperature is going to be a long and tough process in which all of our innovation capacity, enthusiasm, adaptability, and perseverance is going to be needed over the next 50 years. The level of commitment signed by the countries around the Paris agreement does not reach the 2 degrees objective necessary to save the lowest countries from being completely flooded and disappearing. We can neither afford to lose time nor have the world’s second largest emitter of GHG stop its work to reduce emissions.

So, what can we hope for?

In my anger, my first reaction was to hope for a huge international reaction against the US (pointing them as “the rich and badly-behaved lad with no respect for others and the future of our children”) forcing Trump to change his mind in order to save America’s diplomacy or more probably to coerce his successor to double the US efforts to catch up with their target as well as restore their international image.

On second thought, I guess we should all hope that Mr. Trump’s decision is going to mobilize to an even bigger degree all the other countries and those US citizens, states and companies who believe they should keep working to protect our planet and our civilization. We can already see that China is taking the opportunity to play the good guy and seize a diplomatic advantage. Many other countries (such as France for example) are also reacting positively, announcing their will to increase their own ambitions of GHG reductions. In the United States, some companies and states seem to be gathering around the common goal of reaching the official US target (of 26% reduction by 2025) on their own.

So, am I really furious about Mr Trump decision to quit the Paris Climate Change Agreement? It could also be the trigger to a stronger and more ambitious action plan all across the globe, fuelled by those who want to prove that we no longer need America to save the planet!

[Picture source:Joe Raedle/Getty Images]


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