Horacio Fazio *

Fulfilling its electoral promise, President Trump enacted the United States’ exit from the Paris Agreement of December 2015 whose main objective was to promise to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases so that by 2100 the increase in global average temperature does not exceed 2 ° centigrade compared to pre-industrial levels. It’s up 1 °C in 2017. Trump defied the pressure not to withdraw from the Paris Agreement of Pope Francis – who argued for climate change control in his encyclical Laudato Sí – as well as the United Nations, the European Union and even the most polluting corporations such as Exxon, General Electric and Chevron. Trump’s decision is part of the American Republican tradition, as was the argument given in 2003 by President Bush who argued that the American way of life was not negotiable. The Paris Agreement is not binding on the signatory countries, but merely a promise of a commitment to reduce pollutant emissions. The United States had committed to reducing its emissions by 27% by 2025, compared to 2005 levels. Although not binding, the Agreement meant at least a breakthrough in the right way to control the causes of Climate Change according to practically unanimous consensus of the international scientific community and that Trump considers a Chinese tale. But we have to recognize Trump who tells the truth when he asks, India and China can double their coal production, but we do not? This is the controversy. Trump, as a spokesman for an extremely conservative ideology, does not recognize the unequal responsibility of countries to control the emissions generated by climate change today. This responsibility arises from the history of the polluting emissions in which the developed countries usufruct the limited natural resources of a finite planet. Viewed thus, the United States, by far, has been until today the most polluting country in the world. And with Trump the same path is followed without recognizing the rights of China, India and the rest of the developing world to complete their necessary growth process which will inevitably produce additional pollutant emissions. Trump, an exponent of the world’s material richest, clearly shows the relationship between inequality and pollution, in this case the emissions of greenhouse gases that give rise to Climate Change. In fact, only 10% of the world’s richest people are responsible for half the world’s emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, the richest 30% are already responsible for 80%, while the rest, 70 per cent of the world’s population are only responsible for a fifth of the emissions.

* Economist and doctor in philosophy (University of Buenos Aires); Author of Economics, Ethics and Environment, EUDEBAl. Executive Director of the Foundation for Advanced Studies in Buenos Aires (FUNDABAIRES)

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