Paris deal tests responsibility of Washington

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/6/1 13:32:54

US President Donald Trump tweeted on Wednesday that he will announce his decision on the fate of US involvement in the Paris Agreement on climate change at 3 pm Thursday and "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!" Prior to that, a report claiming Trump has already decided to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement had stirred up international public opinion. Responding to the news, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that Trump "wants a fair deal for the American people."

Although Trump has not yet made his decision public, anxieties have spread within the international community. UN Secretary General António Guterres said that even if the US government decides to opt out of the agreement, he hopes that American cities, states and businesses remain engaged with the goals of the deal outlined.

Almost all analysts agree that if the US pulls out of the Paris Agreement, it would deal a catastrophic blow. Given the US' status as the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases and its special international influence, its withdrawal from the accord would not only lead to the collapse of emission reduction efforts, but would also set a bad example. It's inevitable that other countries may follow the US in the future, using the American withdrawal as an excuse.

Only two countries, Syria and Nicaragua, have not signed the Paris Agreement. Should it quit, the US will become a part of this questionable minority. It seems the Trump administration doesn't care about putting the US' reputation at risk.

The signing of the Paris Agreement after rounds of arduous negotiations represents a positive trend - fragile, rare but valuable - given the fact that the world is still politically fragmented and the UN remains weak. A US withdrawal will reverse this trend.

The US is the most developed country in the world and the American people have enjoyed far more benefits than most of the rest of the world as a result of the existing international order. There are indeed some underprivileged people in the US, but their troubles are mainly caused by bad internal governance. Seeking external reasons for domestic woes is by no means what the world's largest economy should do.

A reckless withdrawal from the climate deal will waste increasingly finite US diplomatic resources, and the US' selfishness and irresponsibility will be made clear to the world, crippling the country's world leadership.

The international community is paying close attention to China's attitude toward the Paris deal. During his visit to Germany, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said: "China will continue to implement promises made in the Paris Agreement, to move toward the 2030 goal step by step steadfastly," which has largely comforted the world.

That China and the EU adhere to the implementation of the deal will ensure the effectiveness of the UN climate action. A low-carbon economy not only asks for self-discipline in development but also involves innovation. It tallies with China's appeals for environmental protection.

Human welfare and China's interests are not in opposition, and China has a realistic base to fulfill its emission reduction commitments.

The attitude toward the Paris deal is not related to geopolitics. China is not interested in discussions about the leadership of fighting climate change.

No matter how the US deals with the issue, China should focus on its own efforts to realize its promises to peak carbon emissions before 2030.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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