COLUMN: The United States re-entering the Paris Climate Agreement will save our economy

Environmental projects will create more jobs, protect the agricultural economy and protect national security

President Joe Biden tweeted on Feb. 19, “Today, America is officially back in the Paris Climate Agreement. Let's get to work.” The main debate against the Paris Climate Agreement is that it will destroy the economy. However, this is completely untrue.

The Paris Climate Agreement is an international agreement aimed to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius. In 2017, former President Donald Trump left the Paris Climate Agreement due to fear of losing jobs and decline of the value of the Gross Domestic Product, despite the environmental repercussions scientists fear.

Scientists say that if global warming increases by 2 degrees Celsius, we will see extremely dangerous effects. Food insecurity and starvation will spread because of desertification, land degradation and extreme weather conditions. This would crash the global market and our agricultural economy. It will also increase glacial melting, leading to oceans rising to an estimated 2.5 meters. This will lead to damage in nearby towns, costing the United States more money toward relief programs. According to data from the Center for Climate Integrity, “The United States faces more than $400 billion in costs in the next 20 years to defend coastal communities from sea-level rise.” Danger to human life and the economy is at risk as climate change affects the Earth.

Biden stated that under the Paris Climate Agreement a $2 trillion investment will be enacted to create carbon-free electricity by 2035. It will be funded by raised corporate taxes from 21 percent to 28 percent.

Among the initiatives addressed, $400 million will go toward creating clean energy vehicles. This will not only help reduce carbon emissions but also boost the economy in the long run.

The United States spends about $155 billion a year on importing foreign oil. If the United States switched to electric-based cars, it wouldn’t be dependent on foreign oil. Not only does foreign oil hurt the economy, but is also a threat to national security.

The United States imports 20 percent of its oil from the Middle East. Oil accounts for most of the United States’ energy source. Countries and areas have power over us and could control our oil industry if they chose to. The United States needs to become more self-sustainable to avoid dependency on and the dictatorship of other countries.

In Trump’s speech in the Rose Garden of the White House, he addressed why he left the Paris Climate Agreement. His central claim misled the public when he quoted a study from the NERA Economic Consulting that stated the United States would lose 2.5 million jobs in the fossil fuel industry by 2025.

This study did not include anything about the shift to renewable energy jobs. In the 2019 U.S. Energy and Employment Report the Climate Citizens Lobby found that “In 2018, there were 2.4 million jobs in clean energy, compared to half that many in fossil energy.”

In 2017, ABC News reported, “nearly three times as many Americans work in solar than in coal.” This means clean energy jobs are growing at a faster rate than fossil fuel jobs, allowing people to find work in clean energy. More jobs equal more people contributing to the economic cycle.

Trump also contributed to furthering pollution. According to Inside Climate News, “Under the Trump administration, an increase in fossil fuel emissions drove a three percent rise in greenhouse gas emissions to 6,677 million metric tons.” By not addressing global warming through policy change, Trump did not help reduce fossil fuel emissions.

While the economy is extremely important in ensuring our country runs effectively, the most important part of clean system policies is simply American health. According to the WHO, “Air pollution contributes to 7 million deaths globally per year.” Public health is also a contributing factor in the economy. The United States, for example, will have to spend more money providing health care for people who are experiencing health issues from pollution. If people don’t want to spend more of their taxes on health care, then they need to work toward creating a cleaner earth.

By combating climate change, the United States will have stronger domestic energy sources, more jobs and better health. Climate change isn’t an opinion, it’s science. The moment people realize how important it is, will be the moment the United States will grow.

In order to help fight racial injustice, the Maneater encourages readers to donate to Equal Initiative Justice, an organization aimed to highlight criminal justice reform. Donate at: https://support.eji.org/give/153413/#!/donation/checkout

Edited by Sofi Zeman | szeman@themaneater.com

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