The US President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris climate accord which is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. Adopted in December 2015, it became a binding agreement by which nations would start reducing emissions through 2030 and beyond but during last year’s Presidential campaign in the United States, then candidate Donald Trump signaled that he could indeed not honour the agreement partly because it’s not “fair” to the American economy with respect to jobs because it would place a burden on the coal industry which is America’s main source of energy. But critics say the planet is suffering from such human activities and a way is needed to start shifting focus from current forms of energy to cleaner sources. They also argue that clean energy jobs will disappear in the US and this means the US will relinquish leadership in this area to nations like China and Germany.
In a speech delivered yesterday in the White House Rose Garden, Mr. Trump insisted though that pulling out of the accord would protect America in line with his “America first” mantra. In doing this, he strained further the relationship with the tech community with the most notable this week being Elon Musk who announced that he was leaving his White House advisory role and this is not surprising seeing as Mr. Musk himself has deep business interests in clean and renewable energy. But some say he should have stopped advising the White House once they made clear they were going to ban a certain set of people from Muslim nations from coming into the US for some time. The administration has so far been dealt a huge blow by two courts but the matter is now in the Supreme Court where its fate is currently unknown but we’ll see how that goes.
President Trump added that America will begin renegotiating the accord even though France, Germany and Italy released a joint statement saying the accord cannot be renegotiated with plans underway for the EU to cooperate more with China on this. Even Russia released a statement saying they won’t be pulling out of the accord so it looks like the US, Syria and Nicaragua are alone on this.
But it looks like some US states like New York, California and Washington among others are now looking for ways to stay in the accord without the backing of the White House. Companies like Microsoft and GE have all said they’ll continue working to combat the effects of climate change overall.
In a statement by Tech leaders, they said “Continued U.S. participation in the agreement benefits U.S. businesses and the U.S. economy in many ways,” the letter read. “U.S. business is best served by a stable and practical framework facilitating an effective and balanced global response.”
Elon Musk is the second tech leader to leave the White House advisory role after Uber CEO Travis Kalanick left over the immigration ban saga.
Here’s what some of tech leaders had to say about America pulling out the accord;