In this essay, a main theme, two subthemes, and global connections are presented. For several years, global leaders have proposed various recommendations to curb climate change, but with minimal results. However, on November 18, the United Nations announced a big news that the conclusion of the Marrakech meeting led to about 200 countries demonstrating their commitments to execute the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and ensure that global warming was kept well below 20C. The Paris Agreement was realized on November 4th when about 55 countries responsible for about 55% of the global emission acted swiftly and ratified the landmark agreement.
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After two weeks, more than 100 countries had ratified the deal, including the US. In this story that appeared in the Global News, “Donald Trump backs away from vow to pull out of the Paris climate agreement”, the main theme is climate change. The US president-elect was quoted saying the he was searching for fast ways to get the US out of the 2015 Paris Agreement to control climate change and had stated clearly that he would cancel the Agreement and stop all payments of US tax dollars remitted to the UN (the United Nations) under the global warming programs (Rampton, 2016). However, in the recent past, the US president-elect seemed to have changed his mind on the issue and claimed that he was “looking at it very closely” because he has an open mind to it.
The first subtheme in this article is the issue of politics and global warming. Global warming, which is notable sustained rise in the global temperature, is an issue that has attracted political discourses, often depicted by hardline stances along various party lines, specifically in the US. Most of these issues are supposed to be handled by environmental scientists, for instance, the role of humanity in causing the global warming (Cook et al., 2016). It is the major controversial topic linked to politics and economics of environmental conservation as some leaders strive to downplay, reject, or utterly deny them. It brings about the idea of climate change denial, and Donald Trump was an exemplar who was quoted saying that he thought there was “some connectivity” between human activity and global warming, notwithstanding the previous statement he made labelling climate change as a hoax (Rampton, 2016). It is imperative, however, to demonstrate that scientists have already resolved some these controversial issues regarding climate change. For instance, they have decisively shown that the rising global temperature occurs because of human activities and that the trend is ongoing (Powell, 2015; Stott, Good, Jones, Gillett, & Hawkins, 2013).
Another subtheme is related to the economics of mitigating climate change (Roberts, 2016). That is, how much it would cost the US firms to fund the Agreement and their competitiveness in the global space, according to Trump (Rampton, 2016). Some politicians have questioned sources of funding for climate science studies by raising issues related to policy responses, their cost-effectiveness, and the urgency. In these instances, strong lobbyists from the oil industry and politicians have often strived to suppress scientific findings or censor them and conceal data or not subject them to public discourse. Moreover, some of these lobby groups have also sought for legal redress to oppose global warming, its consequences, and initiatives to reduce it. The fossil fuels lobby has been occasionally open about its attempts to reject or undermine any agreements by scientists on climate change.
The first global connection is effects of climate change. It is observed that climate change knows no geographical boundaries. Hence, negative consequences noted in China, for example, may be felt in neighboring countries. Such observations have prompted world leaders to act in unity by ratifying the Paris Agreement. They demonstrated that climate change is not restricted to a specific country, but rather affects the entire global, and this explains why about 200 countries have already ratified the Paris Agreement.
This article also demonstrates the global actors in issues related to climate change and shows the global connection. In this case specifically, the UN, politicians (world leaders), the US, and commercial companies are key actors (Wang & Moodie, 2016). Any attempts by the US to withdraw from this Agreement ratified by about some 200 countries would hinder international initiatives to restrict rising global temperature that has been associated with floods, heat waves, deaths of plants and animals, and the rising sea levels.
Finally, the issue of funding climate change research is critical for its progress. Although the results are not always convenient to certain quarters, such studies should be funded by individual countries that remit their contributions through the UN. By withdrawing fiscal supports and political will, such studies would not thrive and knowledge about climate change would be minimal.
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In summary, the paper has focused on the most recent climate change deal – the Paris Agreement and its related global connections. In this case, international actors, such as the UN, member states, politicians, scientists, and commercial entities are important actors. Further, climate change itself, its effects and sources of funding for further studies are important issues of global connections.
Cook, J., Oreskes, N., Doran, P. T., Anderegg, W. R., Verheggen, B., Maibach, E. W.,… Green, S. A. (2016). Consensus on consensus: a synthesis of consensus estimates on human-caused global warming. Environmental Research Letters, 11(44), 1-7. Web.
Powell, J. L. (2015). Climate scientists virtually unanimous anthropogenic global warming is true. Bulletin of Science, Technology & Society, 35(5-6), 121–124. Web.
Rampton, R. (2016). Donald Trump backs away from vow to pull out of the Paris climate agreement. Web.
Roberts, D. (2016). We don’t, and can’t, know how much it will cost to tackle climate change. Web.
Stott, P., Good, P., Jones, G., Gillett, N., & Hawkins, E. (2013). The upper end of climate model temperature projections is inconsistent with past warming. Environmental Research Letters, 8(1), 1-8. Web.
Wang, U., & Moodie, A. (2016). What businesses want Trump to know about climate change. Web.