Should the US rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement?


Rosa Ferdelman

Staff Reporter

Scientists believe that the surface temperature of the Earth will increase up to 10 degrees by the end of the century, causing irreversible damage to the environment if greenhouse gas emissions are not controlled, according to the Climate Action Reserve. The Paris Climate Agreement was formed in 2015 to encourage participant countries to slow the global temperature increase, and to try and keep around a 1.5 degrees celsius increase. However, in 2017, just two years after the initial signing, President Trump pulled the United States out of the agreement. The U.S should rejoin the Paris Climate agreement to protect the environment, strengthen diplomacy and create jobs. 

In 2019, the U.S was the leading country in production of carbon dioxide emissions, according to The New York Times, and is directly tied to the increase of the average temperature of the Earth, which has led to many dangerous environmental changes. The increase in temperature is linked to the melting of the ice caps, rising sea levels and increase in natural disasters, according to National Geographic. 

Without action, millions of people will continue to suffer the environmental consequences of a warming planet, many arctic animal species will be threatened with extinction, and coastal cities will eventually be underwater as ocean levels rise and natural disasters will continue to decimate cities. To rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and follow its policies, the United States will have to cut down its emissions which will aid in slowing the increase of surface temperature of the Earth. The U.S has to take responsibility for its contributions to climate change and rejoin the agreement to prevent the environmental consequences from worsening, potentially saving millions of people’s lives as well as the environment. 

The United States will also improve foreign relations by rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement. Though the agreement consists of 188 different nations, according to the Council of Foreign Relations, the United States is the largest donor to the U.N. The U.S is the only country out of the three most populated countries (U.S, China and India) to leave the Paris Climate Agreement. It shows diplomatic weakness that the U.S is not participating in this landmark advancement of diplomacy, even though it spends a surplus of money funding the UN. Rejoining the climate agreement would show leadership and strengthen the U.S.’s involvement in diplomatic policies, as well as leading in change alongside other countries.

The flexible nature of the agreement is well-designed so countries can make practical plans to cut emissions rather than having a strict set of rules enforced by the U.N that may be unrealistic for larger or highly populated countries. 

According to a White House report, President Trump claims he decided to leave the agreement to benefit working class people and save them from job losses. One of the main concerns that President Trump expressed was that many industry workers would lose their jobs due to the shift toward clean energy while not enough jobs will be created long term. However, an article from the United Nations’ page on climate change explains that while there may be temporary job loss, over time 2.5 million jobs will be created in renewable based energy, which would surpass 400,000 in job losses from fossil-fuel based energy. 

The U.S must rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement to direct the nation and the world toward a healthier future.The U.S. itself will benefit with a healthier environment as well as better diplomatic relations and domestic job creation. Taking part in the Paris Climate Agreement is a step toward a green future, of which the U.S. should be a leader.


Genevieve Labine

Staff Reporter

A crucial concern in our modern society is the question of how climate change will harm the future of our planet. The Paris Climate Agreement was formed in 2015 in response to concerns about the global environment. However, the United States left in 2017 due to concerns about the economy and finances. By rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, the economy of the United States would suffer as taxpayer money is wasted. Instead, America can operate on its own terms to deal with this crisis, avoiding the burden on our economy, since we will no longer have to conform to the expensive sacrifices of the agreement. 

On June 1, 2017, President Donald Trump officially withdrew from the Paris Climate Agreement, which is an alliance between many countries around the world to work together to fund clean energy and prevent global warming. The deliberate decision of withdrawing the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement was to benefit American workers and stimulate the economy.

 According to the U.S. Department of State, the accord created unfair economic mandates for American workers and taxpayers. A 2018 census revealed that almost 12 percent of Americans live in poverty and would suffer greatly as a result of income lost as part of the Paris Climate Agreement. According to an article by the Heritage Foundation, conforming to the agreement’s energy regulations could cost hundreds of thousands of American workers their jobs, and the White House website even reported that families could face an additional $20,000 lost in income by 2035 if the United States was to rejoin.

The report also included that over $1 billion worth of tax money was used to fund green energy for other countries around the world, and despite all this money coming from American taxpayers’ pockets, the majority of these funds were given to other countries who are struggling to afford renewable energy sources. By operating independently, the United States can focus on spending to improve its own conditions and reduce the burden on American families.

Although climate change is a serious issue that continues to pose a threat to our future, we have to think about approaching the issue in a way that is most beneficial to the U.S. as a whole. America relies heavily on production, so by agreeing to the regulations of the accord, many jobs would have been lost rather than created. As businesses are held to higher standards, it will cost them more money, which means taking money out of the paychecks of their employees. According to the Heritage Foundation, the American manufacturing industry would lose trillions of dollars in domestic production, which would hurt our already suffering economy. In addition, by withdrawing from the agreement, the United States can continue its economic growth by 3% each year.

Although it is important to consider the effects of climate change on our planet, we can still work individually to improve conditions in our own country. In fact, according to Politico, after the withdrawal, several governors of U.S. states confirmed that they continue to work toward similar goals to that of the Paris Climate Agreement. States like California and New York are stepping up their efforts in using renewable sources as they have many large businesses that are scrutinized and pressured to improve their operations. In addition, the U.S. will continue to pursue research in clean energy and look for renewable resources while also growing its economy. 

Even without being part of the Paris Climate Agreement, the country is still able to improve its use of clean energy and renewable resources while at the same time aiding other countries.

Dylan Ryan, Freshman 

“Yes, if we want to stop global warming, everyone has to make an effort, and that includes us. If we stay out of the global climate agreement we start to reverse the change that is being made, which will only lead to worse emissions.” 

Molly O’Dell, Sophomore 

“Yes, because climate change is a very real, and difficult problem to solve. The Paris Climate Agreement is the best and most efficient option that the U.S. has, and it will ultimately benefit and protect our planet.” 

Tommy Webster, Junior 

“Yes, while the economy does profit from not being a part of it, I think the environment and climate are far more important than the economy, and, while this may be an over exaggeration, the economy is useless if the whole planet is too hot to live on.” 

Mia Dietz, Senior 

“Yes, climate change is affecting our world and having a negative impact on things like our seasons. I think that we shouldn’t have even left in the first place, we should have stayed in it all along.” 

Laura Resnik, Math Teacher 

“Yes! The United States would be wise to prioritize protecting our planet. Climate-related disasters, air pollution, and rising ocean levels (due to ice shelves and glaciers melting at staggering rates) will impact each of our lives negatively in the near future, if it hasn’t already.  We have no other place to live.”