UG Commission approves climate change resolution

Gwen Vasquez
June 19, 2017

President Donald Trump's rejection of the Paris agreement and his explanation - at odds with both the economic or worldwide political reality - were deeply disturbing in their ignorance.

"What we're asking for is not to make a decision for a liberal agenda, or a conservative one, or a centrist one, or any other".

The US now ranks 15 in RobecoSAM's sustainability index, right between Germany and France, and the country's withdrawal from "Paris" alone will probably not result in a massive fall down the ranking.

He quoted the U.S. Constitution, which states, "No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money, emit bills of credit; make any thing but gold and silver coin and tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts". She argued that given the options, the "best available path was the path out the door". The United States also remains a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, a treaty ratified by the Senate and signed by President George HW Bush. It will emerge from this decision weakened, out of step with its allies and commanding diminished respect. Even by 2040, and assuming that all of the Paris agreement's promises are fulfilled, the IEA expects wind and solar to provide, respectively, just 1.9% and 1% of global energy. And for that, we should say: "Good". Well, the actual effect of the United States pulling out of the Paris Accord is that funding to Adaptation and Mitigation programmes dwindles significantly, since the USA contribution was seen as significant.

Councilmembers Jim Barrow and Dick Morgan raised the concern that the resolution could, in Morgan's words, see the city "wading into a political conflict, a very public conflict that has nothing to do with Paris, or the climate, or any of that".

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Swedish lawmakers, by an overwhelming majority vote (254 against 41), have bound the country to reach net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions by 2045.

For the U.S., President Barack Obama's voluntary target under the Paris Agreement was to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 percent below 2005 levels by 2025, partly by restricting coal-fired power plants. "Preserving that spirit is critical to the future success of the accord". "The strength and resiliency of the deal's structure, now fueled by the shared commitment of all signatories, could instead rot quickly from within".

I was wrong. Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement (on top of the scandals, lies, and inability to get needed legislation through Congress) knocks the USA out of our position as leader of the free world.

Kiss said while the decision to withdraw from the agreement was disappointing, it has also prompted a strengthened commitment at Agnes Scott to becoming more sustainable as well as to form coalitions with others to address the challenges climate change poses. The Accord gave billions of American dollars to foreign entities to entice them to do the same, but there are little to no guarantees that those countries would do what they promised to do. Similarly, high-level positions at the State Department remain unfilled.

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