If the United States bails on the Paris Agreement on climate change, as CNN is reporting, the results could be catastrophic both for this country and the planet.
It would be a middle finger to the future.
The worst part: There is absolutely no reason for it. Aside, perhaps, from bravado and arrogance.
In walking away from the Paris Agreement, President Donald Trump would be turning his back on the entire world and on the consensus of climate science. Every nation except Syria, Nicaragua and now, potentially, the United States, is part of the accord, which calls for an end to the fossil fuel era — and limiting global warming to at most 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. (Nearly 200 countries or parties have adopted the agreement and 147, including the United States, at least for now, have ratified or approved it, indicating a stronger level of commitment, according to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change).
I’m sure that target — considered the “north star” of climate policy — sounds ridiculously abstract and wonky. But the 2 degrees goal is incredibly consequential. The fate of the planet — and the mess we shove on future generations — hangs in the balance.