Challenges in Paris Agreement Essay Example

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Introduction

The world has changed a lot in the last couple of decades. A hundred years back, everything used to go by the law of nature. All the seasons followed a proper cycle that regulated them throughout the world at the right and appropriate time. With the increase in technology, the world has seen a massive shift in industrial development. Exponential developments in the industrial sector started in the 1800s that increased the demand for fuel and other energy sources. This passive demand for energy was fulfilled by burning fuel and other natural resources. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere started to increase day by day, causing the entire ecosystem to be dysfunctional.

Violent floods, extreme earthquakes, hot summers, frigid winters are the aftermath of the disruption in the ecosystem. It has been seen that ice on the polar caps is melting, increasing the overall sea level in the world. Countless small island-like states are on the verge of getting submerged in the water. Furthermore, there is a massive threat to numerous species living in and outside the surface of the water. It has been researched that a significant temperature rise has been recorded on the polar caps (Turner et al. 2986-3007). This increasing temperature on the polar caps is becoming a massive issue for the species living there.

Furthermore, the rise in temperature starts a chain reaction that adds to the disruption of the entire ecosystem. The effects of climate change are not only confined to living organisms, but also pose a threat to the low-lying areas all over the world (Fitchett et al. 1-9). This essay attempts to analyze the lack of commitment and foreign policies worldwide and why countries are not following the guidelines set by the Paris Agreement.

Paris Agreement

With the exponential increase in globalization and industrialization, the temperature of the Earth is constantly rising. The Paris Agreement is the accord signed by 196 countries that binds them together to join hands to keep the global temperature less than 2 degrees Celsius or preferably below 1.5 degrees Celsius. The purpose of the meeting was to bring the entire world on one platform and address the most significant challenges and threats that humanity has ever faced (Savaresi 16-26). The meeting aimed to make everyone understand the severity of climate change and the magnitude of damages it is causing to our ecosystem.

Two degrees Celsius might seem very ordinary, but this can cause horrendous damage to our environment. If we look back in time, the temperature of Earth was negative 0.37 degrees in the 1890s’. That changed to a negative 0.30 degree in the 1940s’. In 2016, the overall temperature of Earth was as high as 0.99 degrees Celsius. This was quite alarming as temperature this high could bring a lot of changes in the environment. Experts have predicted that if this temperature is not controlled, there could be a disaster in the future. The goal of the Paris Agreement was to make every country understand the importance of climate control. All the countries initially agreed to make sure policies on the domestic level keep the overall carbon emission controlled.

Furthermore, the developed countries were advised to join hands and make a fund to help the underdeveloped countries cope with their climate action plans. This will allow the underdeveloped countries to implement new policies to decrease the greenhouse effect. As the nations have submitted their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) in 2020 climate action, experts still predict the increase in global temperature till 2100 (Rogelj et al. 631-639). That shows a massive gap in the policies that the Paris Agreement had set. Although any country is not legally abided to follow the rules and guidelines, it is not morally permissible to disagree with the Paris Agreement. Many countries are not following the Paris Agreement due to the lack of commitment and a massive lapse in foreign policies.

It is not difficult for countries to control their carbon emissions on a national and domestic level. Good policing making and communication with all levels within a country are vital in preventing the greenhouse effect. Many countries vouched for making the world a greener place at the conference. The United States of America affirmed to decrease its overall climate pollution by 26%-28% and bring the overall pollution levels back to where it was in 2005. China also promised to reduce the overall carbon emission by 65%. The European Union also stated to bring its carbon emission scale low by 60%. There are very few countries working to reduce carbon dioxide oxide emission, which is very hazardous for the environment.

Lack in internal and external policies

Statistical data shows that China emits around 30% of the carbon dioxide, followed by The United Stated with having 15%, India at 7%. That indicates that most carbon dioxide emitted is from these three countries. Even though China and The United States vouched for taking care of the amount of carbon being emitted by their industries, nothing substantial has been done until now and their pledges have all gone in vein.

Political differences and climate change

Political differences are one of the significant reasons why climate change cannot be controlled. Most leaders worldwide have started to blame each other or other state of the world, for the exponential change in the climate. Although India is a developing country, it plays a vital role in global warming. The political difference between different parties in India is not allowing them to make specific policies that are good for the environment. It is evident from the tweet of Environmental Minister Prakash Javadekar that India cannot be held accountable for global warming. The lack of foreign policies elongated with domestic policies regarding global warming in India plays a crucial role in increased carbon dioxide emissions. This gap in the harmony among the local and state level parties’ acts as kerosene on fire in India. It has been seen that India has been a hotspot for many violent environmental incidents such as floods and hurricanes.  As India is a developing country, it is not ready to stop its operations. That will prove to be hazardous for its economy. That shows a massive gap in commitment and strictness of policies.

The United States, on the other hand, plays a crucial role in global warming. President Trump never made policies that would cater to the ongoing climate change. He has seen to be very ignorant about the dangers caused by the increasing temperature globally. In one instance, President Trump questioned the prevalence of global warming (Eilperin 12-12). That shows that no country is serious when fulfilling the Paris Agreement.

Furthermore, China has been the key player in increasing global warming worldwide. The increased industrialization in the country poses a massive threat to the rest of the world. Different studies have been carried out that show an increase in the greenhouse emission from china (Hu et al.). Although most countries advocate the steps taken for climate change, nothing has been done that can be appropriately documented. The severe lapse of foreign policy has become a massive issue regarding climate change.

Foreign policies

Most developed and under developing countries rely purely on fossil fuels and other sources to generate energy for their industries. With the exponential increase in industrialization, the United States of America backed out from Paris Agreement due to its political constraints (Ott 277-296). As the self-proclaimed leader filed it withdrawal, other Nations have taken responsibility for regulating the rules for controlling climate change. It was, therefore, the responsibility of the European leaders to join hands and work for a better cause. One of the most significant flaws in the foreign policies is whether the problem of climate change should be taken globally or locally. Most countries have started to blame one another for the increase in global warming. The use of fossil fuels is one of the significant reasons why carbon dioxide graphs keep rising year by year. With The United States being the second most contributor in the climate change, there should be some legalized policies that stop excessive fossil fuel. The withdrawal of The United States in terms has defiantly put a massive dent in the findings on climate change research activities and preventive measures (Zhang et al. 213-219).

Statistical data taken from the Climate Action Tracker shows that some countries are doing well in keeping the overall carbon dioxide levels low. Still, countries like Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and The United States are doing relatively poor in saving the ecosystem. All these mentioned countries are enriched with coal, oil, and gas. This shows that these three things are the major contributors to climate change. The lack of foreign policies stops these countries from using excessive fossil fuel.

Furthermore, it is very evident from the graph that Europe is leading with excellent mitigation strategies. Underdeveloped countries and developing countries can’t become carbon-free without the help and aid of developed counties. Countless states have entered the development phase recently and need the assistance of superpowers (Leahy). When superpowers like The United States withdraw from the Paris Agreement, how can smaller states help themselves? This question is asked by many but has never been answered concretely. The world needs to reach net-zero by 2050. Otherwise, our planet Earth would face many difficulties. A small climate change can cause havoc for the entire ecosystem. Let alone if the global temperature crosses the safe limit, their world would be on the verge of collapsing. It has been reported that many new coal plants are under construction worldwide. That shows a huge gap in communication between countries. Moreover, Russia is the fifth-largest carbon dioxide emitter has not taken proper steps to mitigate the dangers of global warming and climate change.

Why is Paris Agreement important?

Superpowers like the United States of America, Russia, China, and Japan should understand that they are the key contributors to the extensive carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere. The goal of the Paris agreement was to regulate a policy that controls the quantity of carbon dioxide which is emitted into the atmosphere. Many countries’ current results show that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has to be controlled; otherwise, the entire ecosystem would be disrupted. The United Nations should take this matter into its own hands and assist every country in making policies that helps the world to become a better and greener place. Countries should use renewable energy sources rather than burning coal and fossil fuels. Furthermore, the superpowers should also help the developing countries that have entered the era of industrialization. Low-lying states such as Maldives or Hawaii Islands are constantly at risk of getting submerged underwater due to the exponential rise in sea levels due to climate change.

Conclusion and Recommendations

In the light of the above-stated facts, it can be concluded that our entire ecosystem is on the verge of getting destroyed due to the change in the climate. All the countries need to keep aside the political differences and join hands to work for this cause. The goal of the Paris Agreement was to devise a policy that ensures that all countries refrain from using carbon-rich resources for power generation. Developed countries like The United States and Chain should abide by the laws for climate preservation. These countries should also help the under-developed or developing countries control the greenhouse effect. It is challenging for the developing countries to move ahead for this great cause without the support of the developed countries. Keeping the global temperature below 1.5 degrees Celsius is very important for the future of humanity. Governing authorities like the United Nations should make general policies for all countries strictly followed by the rest of the world. Otherwise, it will be tough to control global climate change.

Works Cited

Eilperin, Juliet. “Trump says ‘nobody really knows’ if climate change is real.” Washington Post. Retrieved (2016): 12-12.

Fitchett, Jennifer M., Bronwyn Grant, and Gijsbert Hoogendoorn. “Climate change threats to two low-lying South African coastal towns: Risks and perceptions.” South African Journal of Science 112.5-6 (2016): 1-9.

“Home”. Climateactiontracker.Org, 2021, https://climateactiontracker.org.

Hu, Zeng‐Zhen, Song Yang, and Renguang Wu. “Long‐term climate variations in China and global warming signals.” Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 108.D19 (2003).

Leahy, Stephen. “Most countries aren’t hitting 2030 climate goals, and everyone will pay the price.” National Geographic 5 (2019).

Ott, Hermann E. “Climate change: an important foreign policy issue.” International Affairs 77.2 (2001): 277-296.

Rogelj, Joeri, et al. “Paris Agreement climate proposals need a boost to keep warming well below 2 C.” Nature 534.7609 (2016): 631-639.

Savaresi, Annalisa. “The Paris Agreement: a new beginning?.” Journal of Energy & Natural Resources Law 34.1 (2016): 16-26.

Turner, John, et al. “Antarctic temperature variability and change from station data.” International Journal of Climatology 40.6 (2020): 2986-3007.

Zhang, Yong-Xiang, et al. “The withdrawal of the US from the Paris Agreement and its impact on global climate change governance.” Advances in Climate Change Research 8.4 (2017): 213-219.