The Paris Climate accord was an international agreement signed on to by almost 200 countries pledging their goals of reducing greenhouse gasses significantly over the coming decades. This agreement was trumpeted as the saviour of the world from the devastating effects of global warming, which is why Donald Trump was widely verbally castigated when he decided to pull out of the Paris agreement.
The widespread outrage over the current US administration’s decision to pull out of the agreement was revived after the conclusions of a new pessimistic UN report began to circulate. The condemnation of the Trump administration has been widespread but with an interesting and seemingly significant omission. The US under trump has led the world in its reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.
While the US has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 3% in one year, other large signatory countries with ambitious goals have increased their emissions during the same time period. China, for example, increased its carbon dioxide emissions at the highest rate in seven years, while France admitted a 3.6% increase in emissions.
The only signatories to the Paris climate agreement that have been recognized thus far as significantly reducing their carbon emissions have been Ukraine, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Most other countries have seen a moderate or significant increase to their carbon emissions, with Turkey leading the increase by a whopping 14%.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pointed at advances in technology brought about by funding and R&D in the private sector as having contributed heavily to the reduction in emissions while the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) credited much of the success to the use of natural gas from fracking.