The extensive human activities that are exploiting natural resources and growing industrial economies have caused environmental pollution as a result of various emissions over the years. The effect the gas emissions have on the planet is commonly called global warming, which results in a steady increase in the average temperature on earth. Far-reaching scientific findings and mere observation of climate change vividly demonstrate the significance of threats gas emissions have to the future of the habitable planet. It is a global issue that impacts every citizen of the world, which is why the problem must be tackled on a global scale. The Paris Agreement of December 2015 in France marked a significant milestone in the history of global environmental work since the majority of world leaders under the United Nations have gathered to prevent the future consequences of global warming. Despite the difficulties and challenges of this agreement, it is a promising scientifically-based global solution upon which other initiatives can thrive. The milestones set by the Paris Agreement provide an achievable, realistic plan of global warming threat minimization using both developed and underdeveloped countries of the world.
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The Paris Agreement as a Breakthrough in the International Fight Against Global Warming
The Paris Agreement is a global agreement that is designed to create a worldwide system of interventions for gas emission reduction within all industries. It currently incorporates one hundred and sixty-five countries that are willing to make their respective contributions to the elimination of adverse outcomes of global warming by reducing the rates of pollution (Stern 3). It aims to use all possible means to limit the increase of the global average temperature from 20C to 1.50C (Clemencon 3). Evidentially, it is a historic breakthrough as it provides the best comprehensive solution to climate change after over 20 years of failed attempts. The failed Kyoto Protocol in 1997 and other climate conferences before the Paris accord showed no significant results, thus lingering the global change in respect to global warming threats (Clemencon 3). The most valuable asset of the Paris Agreement is its clear statement of the necessary endeavors that are needed to bring the world closer to a safer climate trajectory.
The climate change experts and environmentalists agree that the volunteer pledge of the countries under the guidance of the Paris agreement provides an enduring solution to the complex problem of global warming. Most importantly, it recognizes the threat gas emissions have on the poor citizens of developing nations and vastly addresses this issue through the inclusion of efforts of all developed countries included in the agreement. According to the report of the United States Government Accountability Office, developing nations contribute about 60% of the present-day carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to the earth’s atmosphere (Stern 6). However, these countries do not have proper technologies to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions or to shift from hazardous industrial means to green policy. Therefore, nations with limited resources have to rely on leading world countries in the resolution of the global warming problem.
As a result of the Paris Agreement, some selected governments of developed nations have committed to enacting laws and implementing specific procedures to assist developing countries in their endeavors under the agreement. Indeed, many leading economies of the world initiate extensive work and collaborate with other nations to combat global warming threats in their industries, as well as in the industries of the developing countries. For example, the Major Economies Forum welcomed by the Paris Agreement vastly contributes to the global shift in the perception of environmental change and incorporates efforts of leading economies to minimize gas emissions (Stern 11). Such a development can serve as a first-ever shift in the political paradigm on climate diplomacy, where developed nations create blueprints for developing nations to adopt in the fight against climate change.
Moreover, another breakthrough of the Paris Agreement in comparison to its predecessors is its long-range, science-based goals that rely on the long-term commitment of the nations to serving the purposes of combating global warming. A five-year cycle of work on the decrease of greenhouse gas emissions has been introduced to implement systematic and continuous control over the work done by the nations regarding the designated problem. Most significantly, the non-legally bound emissions targets enable more volunteering nations to join the agreement and provide more resources for the common good (Stern 7). This act of diplomacy encourages the full participation of expected stakeholders, especially the United States of America. Importantly, the failure of the previous attempts agreements was based on the legality of emissions targets that limited the inclusion of the countries into the agreements under the fear of penalties. However, the Paris accord provides enormous opportunities to share and implement best practices and address global warming across the globe.
United States’ Denial
The above-mentioned volunteer-based character of the agreement implies that some countries might track their particular interests by refusing to jo9int the accord. Since the Paris agreement is only a pledge, and there are no sanctions to the participating countries if they fail to accomplish their promised goals, it is possible to withdraw from the agreement. The United States of America used this opportunity to pursue its economic interests in the field of gas and oil industries (Collomb 2). Moreover, cooperate entities across the world, primarily in the United States, had used their failed climate change diplomacy before the Paris accord and developed hoax propaganda over the years to confuse the average citizens. They argue that nature has a way of balancing itself by getting rid of toxic properties citing naturally occurring activities like volcanoes (Wang and Chameides 3-4). Also, politics plays a significant role in forming the discourse in regards to global warming in the United States, since economic growth is prioritized over environmental safety (Horner and Lewis 1-2). Such pseudo-scientific politically-lead claims endanger the potential of the global community’s collaborative work against the threats of global warming.
Politics and Environment within the Realm of Global Warming
In opposition to the claims supporting the U.S.’ denial of global warming for the sake of its economic and political interests, it is essential to operate the facts. The research findings demonstrate that the amount of CO2 emissions due to the burning of fossil fuels and other industrial activities has intensified the scope of global warming (Stephenson 3-4). The scientific evidence advocating for climate change by far outweighs the allegations of climate change denials. The silent agents of climate change denial are the fossil fuel industries and global companies that are making money from the emission of CO2 and other pollutants (Stephenson 3-4). Such entities argue that investments should be made into green energy innovations. Despite the accuracy of such claims, which are supported by the Paris agreement, it is important to implement the efforts aimed at decarbonization across the globe to succeed at green energy implementation.
The recent pull-out of the United States government from the Paris agreement is indeed a significant setback. The financial support of the USA was of great importance to the agreement. However, the ideologically conditioned allegations of the current U.S. government might be temporary, while the significance of the global warming fight remains one of the leading global problems today. The majority of developed nations of the world have agreed to soldier on the battle against global warming, which sets hallmarks for future achievements. It is a scientific fact that, if not tackled promptly, global warming “will cause significant changes in sea level, ecosystems, and ice cover, among other impacts” (Stephenson 2). Therefore, despite the temporary controversies between some leading countries’ perspectives on global warming, its effects are vividly felt and must be addressed by the global community.
In summation, climate change under the influence of greenhouse gas emissions is a real threat to the future of the planet. It is an urgent global problem that threatens the lives of all people across the world. The Paris Agreement has set the milestones of the effective well-structured, and systematic interventions that need to incorporate the endeavors of all nations in their combat against the threats of global warming. The governments of the countries have to commit to their devoted participation in the agreement programs to collaborate and create a lasting solution to global warming.
Clemencon, Raymond. “The Two Sides of the Paris Climate Agreement: Dismal Failure or Historic Breakthrough?” The Journal of Environment & Development, vol. 25, no. 1, 2016, pp. 3-24.
Collomb, Jean-Daniel. “The Ideology of Climate Change Denial in the United States.” European Journal of American Studies, vol. 9, no. 1, 2019, pp. 1-21.
Horner, Christopher, and Marlo Lewis. The Legal and Economic Case against the Paris Climate Treaty: Canceling U.S. Participation Protects Competitiveness and the Constitution. Competitive Enterprise Institute, 2017.
Stephenson, John. Observations on the Potential Role of Carbon Offsets in Climate Change Legislation. United States Government Accountability Office, 2009.
Stern, Todd. The Paris Agreement and Its Future. Brookings, 2018.
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Wang, James, and Bill Chameides. Are Humans Responsible for Global Warming? A Review of Facts. Environmental Defense, 2007.