09 June 2017
US’ withdrawal from Paris pact exposes agreement’s flaws
Statement of the March for Science Philippines on US’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord
The March for Science Philippines strongly condemns the United States under the leadership of President Donald Trump after it pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord. The US’ withdrawal from the pact is an act of blatant disagreement with the scientific consensus on the reality of climate change and a vehement refusal to cooperate with the world to solve the climate crisis.
The US’ withdrawal from the agreement marks Trump’s failure to take into account the negative impacts climate change can bring to communities around the globe as well as to the next generations. It also disregards the efforts of the people who clamored for evidence-based policy making in the recent March for Science global movement.
Trump’s reasoning that withdrawing from the Paris Agreement is in the economic interest of the American people, and is in line with his administration’s America First policy, is a mere cloak for the real cause of the US’ withdrawal: the influence of US big businesses that stand to suffer once the agreement is in place.
The United States is in no position to use as reasoning the possibility that taking part in the Paris Accord will enable other countries to have an ‘unfair’ advantage over the US. The US, as the largest historical emitter of greenhouse gases, has the biggest responsibility to ensure that the ill effects of climate change will be lessened, if not fully stopped.
Contrary to Trump’s claims, it is the US which has imposed “draconian” social and environmental burdens on the people of the world, especially those who inhabit climate-change vulnerable countries. Decades of unconstrained carbon emissions from big corporations in industrialized countries, with the US at the lead, has cost the environment a “fortune”.
Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, agreed upon by 195 countries and effective since 2016, is a manifestation of the weakness of the agreement. Due to its non-binding nature, which hinges on voluntary national pledges to reach the necessary carbon emission cuts, it has failed in addressing its prime objective of curbing the adverse effects of climate change. The numerous loopholes in the watered-down agreement has failed to hold the largest historical carbon emitter accountable and has even allowed it to walk away from its responsibility to the environment and the people.
We in March for Science Philippines stand in solidarity with the whole world in efforts to lessen the ill effects of climate change. Beyond the Paris Climate Accord, the world must unite to condemn and to exact accountability from the US. We call for a stronger agreement that will hold the biggest polluters accountable — an agreement that does not depend only on voluntary national pledges but has binding provisions to ensure the accountability of big polluter countries.#
Coordinator, March for Science Philippines