The Eagle has fallen!

 

The world’s largest economy abandons the UN agreements.

 

Elsie Gabriel

 

So, Barack Obama could not be more right when he said Trump ‘joins a small handful of nations that reject the future’. The U.S. will now be one of only three countries out of 197 nations that isn’t signed onto the Paris agreement, with the other two being Nicaragua and war stricken Syria.

The Paris agreement  in 2015 set the goal to keep the planet from warming by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels and is the collective achievement of leaders around the world, which relies heavily on the commitment of big polluter nations to reduce emissions of gases scientists blame for sea level rise, droughts and more frequent violent storms.

Yes, it is more true that now the U.S.’s leadership position in the world can be questioned.So after Trumps proclamation to abandon and dessert the Paris agreement, what should the rest of the 195 nations do? What should ‘we’ do, is the question which should be on our minds?

As Indians, we should be glad that we as a nation are proud to be part of the deal and forging ahead towards renewable energy. Communicate with our leaders to lower taxes on renewable, do away with coal completely, hasten our jurisdiction at the Green Tribunal with thousands of cases pending, harness our home ground with status and wealth elevation for our farmers, save our forest and trees, ban plastics, invest in R&D and environment/climate change education. We as a nation should now lead! We should assure the rest of world that we will honour its commitment by forging ahead even more forcefully and proactively.

Secondly, regardless of the US situation India should actively start by building alliances with other key partners.

Thirdly, we as citizens should connect with our local environment and climate change authorities and governments to further strengthen our goals and commitments locally.

Fourthly, build your own climate change armies right where you are!

Fifthly, the rest of the 195 nations in the pact hopefully should keep others from rethinking their emissions pledges, through organized immediate review sessions, to help strengthen ties to forge ahead together.

Sixthly,It is heartening to know that many states independently within USA will join the widespread resolve around the world to take responsibility for climate change and scale back greenhouse gas emissions.

Leave USA to fight its own domestic financial woes! Believe it or not, Trump pulling out of the Paris International deal states he is doing so because of what the accord would do to his American economy. 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025; $3 trillion in lost GDP by 2050; and an average household income loss of $7,000. Trump said in an official note that he would be willing to get back in the accord, or one that has the same goals, but only if he is allowed to renegotiate the terms of the United States’ participation.

Quoting what Leonardo DiCaprio said, urging people to keep fighting-  “Today, the future livability of our planet was threatened by President Trump’s careless decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. Our future on this planet is now more at risk than ever before. For Americans and those in the world community looking for strong leadership on climate issues, this action is deeply discouraging. Now, more than ever, we must be determined to solve climate change, and to challenge those leaders who do not believe in scientific facts or empirical truths. It is time for all of us to stand up, organize, fight back, and channel our energy into grassroots political action.”

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This is a wake up call! It is time to look at our own home grounds. It is time to introspect and hold strong to our own civil movement of climate change warriors. We pull up our acts of leadership and get set to battle climate change. Whether it is a misguided and insane course of action, is yet to be seen, totally up to the rest of the 195 countries which form the present pact who may alienate or renegotiate with Trumps government for denying climate change repercussions, many may also review and reform other business reform associations likewise.  ‘Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.’ Rightly put by Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk .

Officially, it is not the end of the world with Trumps decision, USA is a major player in the deal but not invincible. Although they are one of the biggest polluters! Also because according to the terms of the agreement, no country can begin the withdrawal process until three years after the agreement enters into force and the withdrawal would not take effect for one year after that date. Yes, leave alone not owning the pollution problem, it will be a huge setback for the rest of the world, if he would completely end the United States’ participation in the United Nations’ Green Climate Fund for the same reason.

Remembering what Mahatma Gandhi so truly said; at a time like this disaster-‘The world has enough for everyone’s need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.’ We need to preserve our planet for our children’s children. We are just passing through. Leave behind only a legacy of green footprints. The Eagle has fallen. But, We need to keep our flag flying high.

Al Gore, Former Vice President reinforces our hope- “Removing the United States from the Paris Agreement is a reckless and indefensible action. It undermines America’s standing in the world and threatens to damage humanity’s ability to solve the climate crisis in time. But make no mistake: if President Trump won’t lead, the American people will. Civic leaders, mayors, governors, CEOs, investors and the majority of the business community will take up this challenge. We are in the middle of a clean energy revolution that no single person or group can stop. President Trump’s decision is profoundly in conflict with what the majority of Americans want from our president; but no matter what he does, we will ensure that our inevitable transition to a clean energy economy continues.”

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The writer is the founder of Young Environmentalists Programme, certified underwater Ocean naturalist, award winning author, Green teacher and Mentor of Climate Reality. What is your view? You may connect with her on elsiegabriel@gmail.com

 

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