Climate Change threats: The US tribalism in the face of globalization

Donald Trump Energy Order(Photo Source: Google)

After China, America is the second-largest environmental polluter in the world. In a country where nearly two-third of the population believes that climate change is real and caused by humans, it is sad to see that the US President Donald Trump has recently signed an executive order on 28th March 2017 to eliminate Obama’s climate change regulations.

Mr. Trump, with deregulation, hopes to bring back coal industry jobs in the US. He seems to neglect the fact that the country, in recent years, has been gradually creating more and more new jobs in alternative energy sector, while the coal industry jobs are becoming less and less viable, environmentally as well as economically.

The President certainly needs to learn few good lessons from China which recently pledged to invest over US$350 billion in renewable power, creating over 13 million new jobs by 2020. But let’s also not forget the fact that we are talking about someone who doesn’t quite believe in global warming and its effects on climate change.        

In the meantime, environmental experts around the world are showing concerns that this change in policy would make it almost impossible to meet the international pollution targets agreed in December 2015 at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21), an international environmental treaty as per the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992. That winter of 2015, over 150 countries came together in Paris and agreed upon the environmental emission targets covering nearly 90 percent of global emissions.

The countries which contribute least to greenhouse gas emissions are the ones suffering greatest threat of climate change worldwide. Two years ago, the 2015 Sendai Framework (The Third UN World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction, Sendai City, Japan) made it one of the highest priorities to save lives from climate change-induced disasters around the world, especially in developing countries. It seems fairer to focus on mitigating the impacts of climate change in these countries, although it doesn’t feel encouraging if the so-called global leaders become egocentric and behave with such short-sightedness.       

In the age of globalization, people around the planet, look up to the countries like the US and China and their leaderships to fight global disaster threats such as global warming and climate change. As a hub of technology and advancements, one would naturally expect that the US would set examples and take progressive steps towards clean power plants and renewable energy generation as well as job creation in these sectors.

The recent development in the US environmental policy landscape contradicts the above assumption and sounds to be more of selfish and irresponsible act which completely lacks vision and a sense of global well-being. This is no less than stepping down to tribalism in the face of looming global crisis.

* * * *