The United States Takes A Step Backward


Wolfgang Rattay / Reuters

Danielle Perea , Co-Editor-in-Chief

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions of the staff of Smoke Signals.  


   At the COP23 climate summit in Bonn, Germany, Syria announced that it would be signing the Paris Climate Accord. In 2015 when the agreement was introduced, Nicaragua and Syria had not signed it. However, on June 1st, President Trump said that the United States would be withdrawing from the deal.

  Nicaragua agreed to sign the agreement in October after initially deeming it unfair that developing nations would be held responsible for the same amount of pollution as countries that are the major sources of pollution, such as China and the United States. Syria initially did not sign the agreement due to the fact that their government is under European and American sanctions and was unable send representatives to discuss the climate accord.

  Now, America is the only country not a part of the climate agreement. When he announced the U.S.’s withdrawal on the Paris Accord, Trump argued the deal would hurt America’s economy. White House spokeswoman Kelly Love explained in a statement the United States’ position would not change without the Paris Accord changing first. According to the New York Times, she said, “As the president previously stated, the United States is withdrawing unless we can re-enter on terms the are more favorable for our country.”

  It is clear that something needs to change in order for America to agree to the Paris Accord. Zoe Jackson (9) argued, “The United States’ response probably won’t be changing in the next few months or years, seeing as our government elected officials are all old men who are stuck in their ways and deny climate change and our effect on it.” Jackson feels that the agreement might be met if new officials are elected next election cycle and if the United States chooses to move forward as a nation.

  This certainly will not make America look very good, as the United States is the second biggest carbon dioxide polluter in the world after China.  Kristin Lim (9) said, “The fact that the United States is the only country not in this agreement is a complete disappointment to us and other countries.”