U.S. on a lonely path as Trump walks away from the Paris climate deal

02 June 2017
Author :   Isaiah Esipisu
Trump withdraws from Paris Climate deal

NAIROBI, Kenya (PAMACC News) - The U.S. President Donald Trump has finally made good his threat to withdraw his country from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, in a move that has been condemned by leaders and personalities from all over the world including USA.

During his campaign for U.S. presidency, Trump vowed to put ‘America first.’ But his decision to withdraw from an international agreement that has been signed by 194 and ratified by 147 countries has left America walking on a lonely path alongside Syria and Nicaragua.

"Donald Trump has made a historic mistake which our grandchildren will look back on with stunned dismay," Thomson Reuters Foundation quoted Michael Brune, the Executive Director, Sierra Club.

In a statement released by Climate Justice Info, civil society representatives and social movement leaders from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the United States vowed to build people power to address the climate crisis despite Trump’s decision.

"Climate change is not waiting for U.S. action and neither can the rest of the world,” said Ben Schreiber of the Friends of the Earth USA.

“Trump has turned the U.S. into a rogue climate state and the world should use economic and diplomatic pressure to compel the U.S. to do its fair share,” said Schreiber adding that the majority of Americans do not support the president and his fossil fuel agenda that puts corporate profits above people.

Sreedhar Ramamurthi of the Environics India pointed out that it is because of the historic U.S. pollution, that the world is already suffering the consequences of a rapidly warming world with droughts, fires, and floods wreaking havoc with livelihoods and lives, even displacing whole communities.

“Trump wants to add to that historic pollution and condemn present and future generations in the global south to further suffering and death. We cannot allow this, there must be forceful political, legal, and economic consequences levied against the U.S. Trump must realise that in the case of climate, nature has the trump card and not him and his cronies," said Ramamurthi.

Rachel Smolker of the BiofuelWatch USA also expressed her disappointment in Trump’s decision.  "I am ashamed of my country's persistent role in undermining efforts to create a strong and binding agreement, now culminating in Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Agreement,” she said.

“Here in the U.S. climate justice activists are scrambling hard to find a path forward from within.  We hope our allies will let their voices be heard at U.S. embassies - to both isolate Donald Trump and his ilk - and apply pressure on the U.S. to step up and take responsibility for real and equitable solutions to the escalating climate catastrophe," added Smolker.

In a statement to the media, Trump’s announcement was also highly regretted by the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The UNFCCC Secretariat also noted the announced intention to renegotiate the modalities for the US participation in the agreement. In that regard, the secretariat said it was ready to engage in dialogue with the United States government regarding the implications of the announcement.

However, according to the Secretariat, the Paris Agreement remains a historic treaty signed by 194 and ratified by 147 counties and cannot be renegotiated based on the request of a single Party.

According to Mithika Mwenda, the Secretary General for the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA),  the people power and international solidarity are the only hope for averting an unimaginable climate crisis which will fan the flames of every existing inequality and injustice.

“It will take all of us around the world, organising together, to hold the historic emitters like the U.S. under the watch of Donald Trump to account and ensure our governments also do their fair share of climate action in the next four years to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees. Trump's decision doesn't change that," said Mwenda.

The Paris Agreement is an accord within the UNFCCC dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020.

The Agreement is aimed at reducing risk to economies and lives everywhere, while building the foundation for a more prosperous, secure and sustainable world. It enjoys profound credibility, as it was forged by all nations and is supported by a growing wave of business, investors, cities, states, regions and citizens.

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