President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords is a symbolic end of the America’s world leadership and a signal that the US is retreating to “a bizarre anti-science fixation,” told former European Union adviser Paolo von Schirach.
Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement confirms that the US government is retreating into an obsession with denying the objective findings of scientific research, von Schirach told.
“This means that America is no longer leading the world. America will retreat in its narrow universe characterized now by a bizarre anti-science fixation pursued by a strange president who is ‘anti-everything,” von Schirach, President of the Global Policy Institute and Professor of International Affairs and Economics at BAU International University, said.
Trump publicly announced last week that the United States would withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement that his predecessor, Barack Obama, promoted and warmly endorsed.
“As Trump sees it, this is a bad deal for America and so it is right to get out of it. Sticking to the obligations created by the deal would amount to a huge tax on the US economy, because enacting strict emission controls is very expensive,” Schirach stated.
However, the United States would pay a major price in global standing because of the move, Schirach pointed out.
“From the standpoint of old friends and allies, Trump’s announcement on exiting the Paris Accord is yet another sign that America is no longer leading the rest of the world on crucial issues,” he said.
Before of Trump’s decision, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has already argued that it is time for Europe to think of a future without close ties to America, Schirach recalled.
“Trump’s decision on this rather emotional issue has immediate political consequences. From the stand point of other nations, particularly the leaders of the G7… this amounts to America choosing to go it alone, openly dissenting from a global consensus on the global threats to the earth,” he observed.
However, the consequences of America’s exit from the Paris Climate Agreement would not lead to any worsening of the global climate, Schirach cautioned.
“The Paris Accords, if all goes well, promise modest progress on lowering the temperature of the world, and only after many years, and that also assumes that all the other participants will actually do what they promised in terms of lowering their greenhouse gases emissions,” he noted.
The Paris Climate Agreement has no enforcement mechanism and the commitments made by the signatories to them are purely voluntary, Schirach acknowledged.
“This is mostly about political symbolism… In the end it is mostly about perceptions about US leadership… It would have been better for Washington to be part of it, as opposed to becoming some sort of big pariah in the eyes of the world,” he maintained.
Given the broad negative international reaction to Trump’s announcement, he would receive no political gain from it, Schirach concluded.