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June 24 While Trump announces US departure from the Paris Agreement, there is no need for pessimism Date:2017-08-23
On June 1, 2017, US President Trump announced that the second largest carbon emitter was departing from the Paris Agreement. The entire world was very surprised.

This should have come as no real surprise though, given Trump had announced two pegs of his position of climate change during his presidential campaign: first, that “the US must become great again”, while pledging to bring the manufacturing industry back to the US; and second, to promote massive American infrastructural development, creating new employment opportunities and stimulating the economy, but with economic development comes increased carbon emissions.

In fact, though, since the Paris Agreement is not a legally enforceable instrument, it is difficult to implement measures against nations which fail to meet its provisions, but it was precisely for this reason that the accord was able to be signed and adopted. However, for a system without an enforcement mechanism, just how to make it efficacious requires first requiring nations to proactively reduce carbon emissions volume, and second, to ensure countries carbon emissions levels are transparently disclosed, so that the unseen force of pressure from the international community and its constant vigilance will ensure responsible behavior of all.  

Nations are realizing that they cannot be oblivious to environmental change, and even though the US has announced its departure from the Paris Agreement, we need not be overly pessimistic, especially since the departure can only take effect four years later, and there are many variables at play. While at present the picture is not optimistic, we shouldn’t be too glum, since we can still positively note that the world is still moving towards efficaciously reducing carbon emissions.

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