What we say to Trump's announcement on the Paris Climate Agreement
On 1 June 2016, Donald Trump announced that the USA would withdraw from its commitment to the Paris climate accord, an agreement which established a worldwide commitment to limiting global temperature increase to well below 2°C and the pursuit of efforts to keep it under 1.5°C
The livelihoods of billions of rural people around the world are dependent on natural water supplies, soils and biodiversity. They are among the first to suffer when ecosystems are threatened, whether by pollution, over-exploitation of resources or climate change. These are the very people Mr. Trump turned his back on when he decided to exit a deal uniting 195 countries in the definition of a common long-term vision on how to deal with climate change.
This does not though sound the death knell for the Paris Agreement. No other country has indicated similar intentions. In fact, the US pullout has deepened the commitment of the rest of the world to move forward, together.
However, during former administrations the US alone contributed 4 billion USD annually to spending on the global response to climate change in the form of grants and co-funding with the private sector. This contribution will be painfully missing when it comes to saving the lives of poor farming families in times of severe drought, climate change induced floods and other weather extremities. Although in accordance with Article 28 of the Paris Agreement, the United States cannot go back on its commitment before November 4, 2020, four years after the Agreement came into effect in the US and also one day after the U.S. presidential election 2020, the future of US pledges to the Green Climate Fund are now uncertain.
The more these funds shrink, the less chances agro-ecological approaches such as organic agriculture have to gain momentum globally. These systems, which are based on the preservation of nature and its ecosystem services, enable soils to sequester more carbon and are proven to be more resilient to extreme conditions, making them ideal for mitigation and adaptation projects, programs and policy development.
The good news is that most of us still have a choice, for example, we can buy organic produce and call on policy-makers to support farmers in the uptake of organic farming practices. You can learn more about Organic Agriculture and Climate Change here.