Martín Prieto
Martín Prieto

On June 2 the world received one of the most worrying pieces of news about the climate: the United States, responsible for the some of the largest percentages of greenhouse gas emissions per capita in the world, withdrew from the Paris climate accord. President Donald Trump decided to turn his back on the nearly 200 countries that are still committed and represent 87 percent of the global emissions, to ignore the consequences the world can suffer and to add a new job to his resume: Environmental pariah.

Alone, a disbeliever of climate change and its terrible effects, he gave continuity to the retrograde policies towards the environment he promised during his campaign. Going back with national actions on combating global warming and withdrawing from the international agreement created to protect the world’s climate will make extremely difficult to maintain the earth’s temperature below the 1.5° C critical threshold. His decision is not only irresponsible at a global scale, but is morally unacceptable.

The fact that the US withdrew from the Paris Accords will imply severe impact for climate globally, together with more extreme natural phenomena, like floods, forest fires and droughts that, in countries like Argentina, will incur high levels of human and financial loss. This could generate serious consequences, especially to those who are less responsible for the damage and yet more vulnerable to its effects.

This forces the countries that are committed with the international climate agreement to double their efforts in order to achieve the goal of limiting the earth’s temperature up to 1.5° C. Thus, is vital that these governments develop policies and implement measures pointed to collaborate with the recovery of the global climate order.

The 200 member States have to understand that the only way of achieving the established goal is promoting the use of renewable energies and eradicating the production of those fed by the burning of fossil fuels, like coal, gas and oil. If they continue with the promotion of dirty energy, the agreement will turn into a declaration of principles, without any programmatic basis that endorses it.

This year, President Mauricio Macri announced that 2017 will be the year of renewable energy for Argentina. This is accurate from a rhetorical point of view. Although his speech doesn’t match his actions as, on the other side, he continues to promote the gas and invasive resource extraction project in the Vaca Muerta area in Neuquén. Policies like this deepen an energy model based on polluting energies that cause floods, droughts, extreme weather, diseases and that accentuate climate change.

On his hand, Trump has to understand that global actions related to climate are not a legal nor political debate, but an ethical obligation to protect the world’s population and the planet. Fortunately, global community understood that climate change is a real issue. Almost 200 countries are committed with Paris Accords and only Trump decided to withdraw. Commitment seems as real as the problem itself.

China is the biggest polluter in the world and the most coal-reliant country and, even though it has a long way to go, has started changing its energy system and it has the biggest wind and solar power installed capacity in the world. Germany — as the current leader of G20 — is working to ensure that climate change remains a top priority on a national and an international level.

Everything is set up. The change towards clean renewable energy is happening globally and won’t stop.