How Trump's di­vorce from the Paris Agree­ment hurts the Mid­dle East

Con­cern about hu­man-re­lated cli­mate change is def­i­nitely not a new sub­ject. But peo­ple are fi­nally now tak­ing no­tice.

Middle East Business (English) - - NEWS - by An­nemarie Rob­son In­ter­na­tional Ed­i­tor Mid­dle east busi­ness

The global cli­mate is sim­ply get­ting worse with more ex­treme weather hit­ting not only those coun­tries able to cope but those ar­eas where mass move­ment of pop­u­la­tions could be the re­sult of con­tin­u­ally fail­ing crops due to in­creas­ingly se­vere drought or flood. Cli­mate change is a main cause of our rapidly melt­ing arc­tic ice caps that are lit­er­ally rock­ing world weather pat­terns.

For­mer U.S. vice-pres­i­dent, Al Gore, has been telling the world about this 'In­con­ve­nient Truth' for over a decade. Many peo­ple, in­clud­ing cli­ma­tol­o­gists, are even more con­cerned for the fu­ture of our planet fol­low­ing U.S. Pres­i­dent Trump’s de­ci­sion in June 2017 to pull Amer­ica out of the Paris Cli­mate Change Agree­ment, say­ing: “I was elected to rep­re­sent the cit­i­zens of Pitts­burgh, not Paris.”

This forces me to quote an­other of TV's larger-than-life car­toon char­ac­ters, Homer Simp­son; 'D'oh!'

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion signed the Paris Agree­ment in the sum­mer of 2016, signed by over 190 coun­tries, to make a con­certed ef­fort to try to pre­vent world tem­per­a­tures from ris­ing more than 3.3 de­grees dur­ing the cur­rent cen­tury. With­out this agree­ment, tem­per­a­tures could rise more than 3.6 de­grees, if not more, caus­ing dra­matic changes in world weather pat­terns that in­clude storms, droughts, floods and cat­a­strophic changes to agri­cul­ture on a global scale.

Se­vere drought is be­ing felt more of­ten in North Africa and the Mid­dle East, where plen­ti­ful fresh wa­ter sup­plies have never been present. The Ara­bian Penin­sula, in par­tic­u­lar, is cur­rently in the midst of one of the worst drought sit­u­a­tions ever ex­pe­ri­enced in mod­ern times.

De­spite the dire im­pli­ca­tions - and pos­si­bly go­ing against the ad­vice of well-in­formed Se­na­tors from his own party NOT to with­draw - the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion has de­cided

to pull out of the only in­ter­na­tional cli­mate ac­cord agree­ment rat­i­fied by more coun­tries than any other cli­mate agree­ment to date. The fact that he placed a cli­mate change de­nier at the head of the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency, Scott Pruitt, speaks vol­umes about his over­ar­ch­ing in­ten­tions to dis­man­tle ev­ery­thing that the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion worked to­wards.

As one of his key cam­paign prom­ises that was very pop­u­lar in those states re­liant on fos­sil fuel pro­duc­tion for their main sources of em­ploy­ment, Pres­i­dent Trump states his rea­sons for leav­ing the Paris Agree­ment are that it is “un­fair to the United States, its busi­nesses, its work­ers, its peo­ple, and its tax­pay­ers”.

As with im­mi­gra­tion, trade and health care, cli­mate change is one of nu­mer­ous is­sues on which Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s ad­min­is­tra­tion must de­cide how ag­gres­sively to at­tack the es­tab­lished con­sen­sus. Even Pruitt’s al­lies worry about the

dan­gers of go­ing too far.

What next?

North African and Mid­dle Eastern coun­tries and ter­ri­to­ries that have rat­i­fied the agree­ment in­clude Jor­dan, Morocco, the UAE, Saudi Ara­bia, and Pales­tine. Many oth­ers, in­clud­ing Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Libya, Su­dan and Ye­men have signed but not yet rat­i­fied it. Many of these coun­tries al­ready feel the im­pact of global warm­ing and cli­mate change, with se­vere wa­ter short­ages and in­ten­sive sum­mer tem­per­a­tures.

The global cli­mate sit­u­a­tion is forc­ing many coun­tries in the re­gion to re­sort to ob­tain­ing fresh wa­ter through de­sali­na­tion or other meth­ods. This mag­a­zine has fea­tured some of these ideas in the past.

China - and many other of the UN's lead­ing con­trib­u­tors - have said that they will take up the strain of the U.S. with­drawal. Most sur­pris­ingly, many states in the U.S. have com­mit­ted to re­duc­ing emis­sions and re­duc­ing the use of fos­sil fu­els in di­rect con­tra­ven­tion of the Pres­i­dent's an­nounce­ment.

The fu­ture world his grand­chil­dren will in­habit is pos­si­bly not of great con­cern for one in­fa­mous sep­tu­a­ge­nar­ian. And so in the mean­time, the world holds it's col­lec­tive breath and feels tem­per­a­tures rise to un­com­fort­able lev­els.

Au­thor's notes:

This ar­ti­cle as in­spired by a post by Mau­rice Pi­cow on Green­

Al Gore's lat­est doc­u­men­tary - and fol­low up to 2006's 'An In­con­ve­nient Truth' - has been re­leased. 'An In­con­ve­nient Se­quel: Truth to Power', fea­tured at this sum­mer's film fes­ti­vals.

With thanks to Homer Simp­son.

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