The American Administration’s decision to pull out from the Paris Agreement did not come as a huge surprise to anyone who was in the know-how of the things, which almost everyone was. President Trump is one of the most vociferous opponents of the Climate Change Theory and one of his election promises was to remove the United States from this historic agreement. While some quarters did express concerns over the US withdrawal from the treaty, which is but natural since the world views America as the technological leader of our era, the impact of the pull-out has been limited.
There are several reasons why the Paris Deal has not been derailed due to the American exit.
The exit of US has been seen by most as an irresponsible move against a very visible threat of climate change. Even the American public is less supportive of this move than one might think. Therefore, the European Union, China, India and Australia, who are reckoned as the major forces after US, came together and committed their future to the Paris Agreement.
Given the geo-strategic location of these countries, they are able to influence smaller countries in their neighborhood to work towards a greener future. For example, India and China are today the fastest growing solar energy markets in the world. Commercial and rooftop solar installations in India and China are at an all-time high, and both countries are inspiring the South East Asian region to follow suit. It is important to note here that India is aggressively campaigning for standardization of solar acquisition costs across the globe to make the technology more affordable for smaller nations.
Even European countries like Germany, France and UK are actively engaged in reducing their carbon footprint by pushing for renewables. Thus, negating the need for American leadership in this particular endeavor.
While the state can push a certain agenda, it is the prerogative of the business class to promote it, finance it and own it. Luckily, the shortsightedness of US policy making has not affected its corporates and efforts are underway to adopt green energy by almost every major company to make the switch. Even US oil majors are investing in renewables as we speak. Furthermore, the corporate bodies of the world in general are also inclined towards clean energy more than ever before, and once again, the developing part of the world is participating with much more enthusiasm than the those who were expected to lead.
It is a general consensus that the US will eventually come back to the Paris Agreement or some future iteration of it. It makes no sense for the only superpower to stay away from such an important initiative which has the potential to impact the history of the world. Furthermore, if recent statements from the White House are to be believed, there are indications that Washington considering a return, albeit with some relaxations for its fossil friends.
Also, the fact cannot be ignored that the United States is one of the largest producers of clean energy at the moment. So, the spirit for it exists in the system and the Paris exit can be viewed as a minor administrative bump in the road to a more sustainable future.