On Monday, John Kerry and Chuck Hagel published an op-ed in the Washington Post regarding President Trump’s action to officially begin the process to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris agreement on climate change. John Kerry and Chuck Hagel write,
“This is not American first; once again, it’s America isolated.”
Climate change is already affecting every sector and region of the United States. Kerry and Hagel explain,
“Rising seas, increased storm surge and tidal flooring threaten $1 trillion in public infrastructure and private property now along U.S. coastlines. The United States has experience at least $400 billion in weather and climate disaster costs since 2014.”
Climate change also threatens national security. U.S. military bases are threatened by sea-level rise and other impacts. American Security Project has a website devoted to examining the effects climate change has on U.S. military installations and preparedness. Additionally, the effects of climate change have the potential to drive migration, which could affect state stability and harm global security.
Other major powers stand to benefit economically from U.S. withdrawal from Paris, Kerry and Hagel argue.
“By putting up roadblocks to the necessary transition to a low-carbon global economy, Trump is making American businesses less competitive and leaving new jobs and economic opportunities up for grabs to other countries.”
The U.S. is lagging far behind other countries that are determined to capitalize on the low-carbon market. Kerry and Hagel say,
“For every dollar the United States invests in renewable energy, China puts in three.”
The Paris Agreement was the spark to international cooperation on climate change. The start of the official U.S. withdrawal is a dark day. However, Kerry and Hagel argue, the U.S. won’t official exit the agreement until November 4, 2020, and there is a U.S. presidential election on November 3, 2020. Kerry and Hagel conclude by saying, “if there was ever an election in which U.S. leadership and the nation’s security were on the ballot, 2020 is it.”
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