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Opinion: US should stay in the Paris Agreement

Jarrod Chermely, Staff Writer

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Whether or not the United States stays in the Paris Agreement will decide the future of not only our country but our planet.

President Trump has claimed many times that climate change is a hoax, and speculation is mounting that he will pull out of the monumental Paris Agreement, which was signed during the Obama administration in November 2016.

This agreement states that every participating country will make its own plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Also, the countries agreed to regularly meet to compare their results and create competition for each country to see which country will reduce its greenhouse emissions the most.

The United States is the second-highest producer of greenhouse gas emissions.

Despite Trump claiming the Paris climate agreement “gives foreign bureaucrats control over how much energy we use right here in America,” that is not the truth. The Paris Agreement is non-binding, which means there is no set amount of greenhouse gas emission loss that America must reach, and there is no penalty for not reaching a certain amount.

America makes its own policies and reduces its greenhouse gas emissions at its own rate. The Paris Agreement’s sole purpose is to create competition between countries to see which can deplete its emissions the quickest.

All of the other countries in the agreement have confirmed that they will act to fulfil their commitments. This is to bring about a new wave of energy, manufacturing, and transportation. In recent years there has been a lot of progress on cost savings from renewable energy. The global average cost per kWh of solar photovoltaic electricity fell 60 percent from 2009 to 2015. Solar energy will continue to cost less as the industry continues to gain experience.

If the United States were to back out of the Paris Agreement, other countries that are still devoted to reducing their greenhouse emissions are threatening to put a carbon tariff on U.S. imports. Many companies have written letters to the president, urging him not to back out of this agreement. Companies such as, Adidas, Adobe, Nike, Ebay, and Levi Strauss have each expressed their concern about backing out of this deal.

The United States has very little, if anything, to lose from staying in the Paris Agreement, but a great deal to lose if it leaves.

The United States cannot afford to miss out on the Paris Agreement. It will be disastrous for our economy and our planet.

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The student news site of Baldwin High School
Opinion: US should stay in the Paris Agreement