As Other Global Crises Collide, Nations Converge to Address Climate Change
President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement raises the question of what comes next to the international consensus that has been formed around tackling climate change.
After the Paris Agreement was agreed upon and ratified, the United States announced its withdrawal from the agreement in April 2017, arguing that it was too costly for them to continue to commit to it. The move was seen by many as a symbolic move. It was more than three years before the Trump administration went to the United Nations (U.N.) to officially withdraw from the agreement. Other countries were quick to follow suit.
After the withdrawal announcement, climate change continued to gain momentum at the U.N., with world leaders continuing to address the issue of climate change in increasingly coordinated fashion.
On May 5, countries met in Bonn, Germany, for the World Climate Day. It was a significant event that has been held since 2009 to commemorate climate leadership. The U.N.’s decision to hold the Earth Week Conference on Climate Change in Hamburg is also notable.
This year saw many countries convening their own climate summits on climate change.
This climate summit was unique in the amount of international attention that it received. In the lead-up to May 5, many countries were also meeting to address climate change in a coordinated fashion.
As the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement and the Earth Week Conference on Climate Change, we saw the emergence of the Green New Deal, a project spearheaded by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA) and Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA).
When Senator Markey unveiled the Green New Deal resolution at the U.N. Climate Action Summit in September 2018, he drew out the U.S.’s climate leadership in a way that many countries were not able to. This may have led many countries to believe that the United States is not committed to the Paris Agreement, which they view as an