Source: The Hitavada      Date: 10 Jul 2017 11:32:09

WHILE 19 members of the powerful G20 made their commitment to the implementation of the Paris agreement on climate change, US President Donald Trump sang a discordant song. But the world leaders ensured that there was no friction in the grouping and allowed the US President the lee-way to pursue his domestic protectionist policies, which Mr. Trump claims to be aimed at saving American jobs. So, while the entire world is justifiably concerned over the catastrophic consequences of climate change for the humanity and all living beings, the American President has chosen nearsightedness in pursuing a patently parochial policy on the issue of containing the consequences of over industrialisation and unrestrained use of fossil fuels for the purpose of achieving economic goals. 

By refusing to be part of the global initiative to contain the ruinous repercussions of warming of the earth, Mr. Trump has overturned the policies that his predecessors had agreed to. The Paris agreement, which was ratified by 195 member nations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, as rightly said by India’s Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi, was mandatory for every nation to follow. However, the United States, under Mr. Trump, has chosen to walk out of the agreement.

As the biggest polluter of climate through unrestrained consumption of fossil fuels to keep the wheels of its industry running and remain the top manufacturer and supplier of goods to the world, the United States has never cared for the adverse impact of its pursuit of its superiority as a global power on the rest of the world. While the United States does not want to be shackled by any international commitment on climate change, Mr. Donald Trump wants developing economies like India and China to put curbs on their industrial development.

Such isolationist approach of the new American President continues to draw sharp criticism globally and justifiably so, as, by withdrawing from the Paris agreement, Mr. Trump refuses to accept American responsibility towards a common cause which envisages development and transfer of technology for containing the damage caused by climate change, contribute funds to common pool for the purpose and take measures to limit the release of toxic gasses by developing clean energy technologies.

All these issues are as much relevant to the United States as to the rest of the world. The consequences of climate change would be as disastrous to the US as they would be for the rest of the world. Hence it would be more prudent for Mr. Trump to make a common cause with all global leaders.