The United States have joined 'the club of non-signatories of the Paris Climate Deal.' Two other members of this three-member club are Syria and Nicaragua. Thanks to the 45th President of the United States Mr. Donald Trump, the media mogul. He has pulled the country out of the deal. The second largest carbon emitter of the world, the US, will not adhere to the plan to reduce 26% to 28% of the greenhouse emission by 2025.

The US alone produces 15% of global carbon emissions. The plan to reduce emission was set in motion by President Obama following the Paris Summit. The claim by President Donald Trump that the deal costing America 'a fortune' is incorrect. To date, the US contributed only $1 Billion to the UN Green Fund. A total of 194 countries signed the deal and raised $10.1 Billion. The economic consequences of the deal, in terms of jobs, is yet to be properly assessed; but Trump administration is claiming it to be 'huge'. On the contrary, the environmental impact of the absence of the US in the deal will be disastrous, to say the least. The impacts will be both local and global. The brunt of this reckless behavior of the US will have to be borne by countries who are at frontline in the battle against global warming. One of these countries is Bangladesh, where global warming is not a thing of the future but is a daily reality. The situation in Bangladesh and Peru, two most vulnerable countries, along with many others in the 'third world' is not of their own making. As a country with 5% population which consumes 25% of products, the US has a responsibility towards the world. We live in a 'global community' not in a 'dog-eat-dog' world. The argument by National Security Advisor McMaster and economic advisor Cohn that the global stage is 'an arena where nations, nongovernmental actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage' is deeply flawed. Notwithstanding the fact national interests dominate policy making, all countries have responsibilities; bigger you are more responsibilities are on your shoulders. With this decision not only the United States demonstrated its unwillingness to bear responsibilities but also abandoned its leadership role. With departure from the TPP, the United States have practically withdrawn itself from Asia and delivered the region to China; the undiplomatic behavior of Trump displayed during the recent trip to Europe and unwillingness to reaffirm Article 5 of the NATO - the trans-Atlantic Partnership is in jeopardy. Now the withdrawal from Climate Deal is a message to rest of the world: the message is definitely as clear as it could be and I must say obnoxiously loud - 'we don't care.' Perhaps the message is 'drop dead' - literally and metaphorically. As the US decided to abandon the moral leadership, it should well be prepared to see its other diplomatic initiatives fall flat.

 

Ali Riaz is Professor and the Chair of the Department of Politics and Government at Illinois State University