The Facts of the Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement is a 2015 agreement between 147 countries with the goal of reducing global carbon dioxide emissions to prevent a global temperature increase of 35.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) above the pre-industrial level. The agreement requires each country involved to work towards this goal through NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions), such as, “domestic mitigation measures, with the aim of achieving the objectives of such contributions.” As of June 1st, the United States have announced that we will be backing out of this agreement.

The US is the 2nd largest carbon dioxide producer globally, contributing to 17.89% of the carbon dioxide produced by countries. To put this in perspective, the third largest contributor is India with 6.81%. The US not participating puts much more pressure on other countries to clean up a mess that we helped create in a major way. However, even though we are backing out, a group of 30 mayors, 3 governors, over 80 university presidents, and over 100 corporations have all agreed to abide by the regulations of the Paris Agreement regardless of how the US proceeds.

The main threat presented by global warming is the melting of land ice in areas like Greenland and Antarctica which each. This additional water is causing the sea levels to rise at an average rate of 1.8mm/yr. Currently, around 700,000,000 people live in areas less than 30 feet above sea level. The rising sea level is already causing devastation in flat countries like Malaysia, destroying fields and homes, driving people into cities that are not built to maintain the population increase. At the rate we our going, more communities at sea level, such as Miami, will be engulfed by the ocean. This will lead to hundreds of billions of dollars in property damage and resource loss in the united states alone. To learn more on this I highly recommend watching this documentary, available for free on YouTube.