Climate Proponents Face Off Against Economic Skeptics
U.S. President Donald Trump maintains that the U.S. may withdraw from the Paris climate agreement that was signed by 195 nations in 2015, believing that it will be detrimental to American jobs.
During the most recent summit of some of the richest nations on earth, pressure intensified on Trump from fellow G7 leaders to not renege on the obligations signed by former president Barack Obama. Trump continues to maintain that he will do whatever is best for the U.S. and that the Paris accord will cost jobs in the U.S.
This reignites the old debate of combating climate change versus maintaining a growing economy, and whether it is possible to achieve both at the same time.
Trump is facing heavy pressure from both proponents and opponents of the Paris agreement. While world leaders and many allies wish for the U.S. to continue curbing its greenhouse gas emissions to meet the goals set out by the agreement, others within the administration believe that Trump’s first commitment is to the workers and his constituents.
One of Trump’s campaign promises was to ensure that coal workers would see an economic resurgence. If the Paris accord stays in place, however, some within the administration believe that it will send coal workers the wrong message and contribute to what is already an ailing industry.
This debate has long raged in U.S. politics, often taking place across party lines. While the left is generally in agreement as to the existence and real world effects of climate change, those on the right range from skeptical to outright deniers, to those who believe in climate change but also contend that the cost of tackling the emissions would be too high to the economy.
The Paris accord was a monumental agreement by nature of its size. Other climate-focused agreements had achieved small changes, but none had received the same amount of support as the Paris talks had.
While Obama was a firm believer in the dangers of climate change, Trump has been less definitive on his views about climate change, at one point tweeting that it was a Chinese hoax invented to damage the U.S. economy.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012.
But there is a solid camp within the administration that believes Trump should do more on climate, like Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Trump’s daughter Ivanka.
Description: As the G7 meeting wraps up, world leaders continue to pressure U.S. President Donald Trump to maintain his commitment to the Paris climate change agreement, while Trump says that he will do what’s best for American jobs.
“World Leaders Increase Pressure on Trump to Stay in the Paris Accord,” The New York Times, May 26, 2017.