By: Brenda Mongare (

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The Trump administration made a statement to the international community that it plans to officially withdraw from the Paris climate accord. The Paris climate accord unites 188 nations to combat climate change.

President Trump called the agreement “a total disaster” and argued that the Obama administration’s pledges would have “hurt the competitiveness” of the United States.

The withdrawal is still subject to the outcome of next year’s US presidential election – if Mr Trump loses, the winner may decide to change this decision.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the administration had sent official notification of its plans to the United Nations.

“In international climate discussions, we will continue to offer a realistic and pragmatic model — backed by a record of real world results — showing innovation and open markets lead to greater prosperity, fewer emissions, and more secure sources of energy,” Pompeo said. “We will continue to work with our global partners to enhance resilience to the impacts of climate change and prepare for and respond to natural disasters.”

But how much can they do to fight climate change in the absence of federal leadership?

The US would become the only country to leave the pact, a decision Trump promised to boost US oil, gas and coal industries.

The Paris Agreement was set to provide a foundation for sustainable, low-carbon and resilient development under a changing climate by strengthening community-level resilience in countries suffering the same fate as Kenya.

Some of the plans that were set forward for countries to follow were:

  1. Planting trees that absorb CO2 from the air is one such strategy.
  2. Reduction of the amount of greenhouse gases put into the atmosphere can also be achieved through the use of energy sources that don’t release greenhouse gases such as fuel efficiency in vehicles, hydrogen fuel cells, solar power, tidal energy, geothermal and wind power, use of carbon sinks, carbon credits, and taxation measures.

The Trump administration might end up losing a lot of traction with respect to US influence globally and it could take time for the international community to trust the US as a consistent partner in any developments or ties.

The US and China have been leading negotiations of the Paris “rule book” that outlines transparency and reporting rules for signatories, let’s wait and see what happens next.

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