Paris Agreement

us-emissions-chartThe Paris Agreement has been in the news the last few days as our country(The United States) elected a new president who does not intend to uphold The U.S. commitments agreed upon. This may have vast implications as other countries may choose not to uphold their end of the deal if the U.S. decides it will not. The Paris Agreement is directly tied to industrialization because of the impact emissions from factories and automobiles have had on our planet’s climate. There is also an environmental impact from the mining that was necessary to produce the steel used in building the many factories and automobiles. The United States will play an important role as we move forward in our fight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. They have “committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 26-28 percent below the 2005 level in 2025,”(Earth Institute). This is a lofty goal that will take drastic measures.

My primary article is a picture of a newspaper article from 1963 that talks about the signing of “The Clean Air Act.” This act, “defines EPA’s responsibilities for protecting and improving the nation’s air quality and the stratospheric ozone layer,” as explained on the EPA’s website(EPA). This was one of the first instances of the government recognizing the impact that the manufacturing and automobile industry was having on the environment. Before the signing of this law factories were not subject to oversight by the government as far as their air emissions were concerned. This can be related to my secondary article which outlines the commitments by the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Paris Agreement signed April 22, 2016. The commitments the U.S. agreed to include oversight by various governmental departments in various sectors. This includes fuel regulations by set by the U.S. Department of Transportation and the EPA, regulations on energy efficiency for buildings and appliances set by The Department of Energy and further regulations for the power plant industry set by the EPA(Earth Institute). The secondary article points out that “The Clean Power Plan established by the EPA under the Clean Air Act sets goals for each state to cut carbon pollution,”(Earth Institute). This relates directly back to my primary resource showing a newspaper mentioning the signing of The Clean Air act in 1963.

Industrialization has been economically valuable to United State’s society as well as many other countries around the world. However, it has come at the cost of our environment and we now face the challenge of fighting Climate Change. Due to the continuous input of greenhouse gases from automobile and factories, mainly CO2, our planet has begun to rapidly warm causing famine, floods, drought, polar ice melt, and an increase in the instances of extreme weather. The Paris Agreement is an attempt to get a large number of developed and developing nations to commit to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and developing “green” energy sources. This agreement will have a yet to be seen impact on those nations that are still in the process of industrialization. If they follow the agreement they will have to attempt to skip over cheaper sources of energy and instead try to develop green energy sources. This may have an undetermined impact on their rate and success of industrializing.

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