By Daniel Brouse
UNITED STATES — President Trump has done more to damage the environment in his first days of office than any President in history. He has pledged to withdraw from the Paris treaty. The Paris Treaty was the most extensive agreement to address climate change and the first time China and India joined-in. Also, in the first hour of his administration all references to global warming and climate change were removed from WhiteHouse.gov. In addition, the website promoted the increased use of fossil fuels. Then on his first full day in office, Trump signed an executive order to withdraw from the The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP).
The TPP was a trade agreement negotiated by twelve countries: Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, United States, Vietnam, Chile, Brunei, Singapore, and New Zealand.
One of the largest benefits of the TPP would have been protecting the environment. Participating countries will need to adopt tougher pollution standards similar to the USA. “TPP includes the most robust enforceable environment commitments of any trade agreement in history,” according the United States. “TPP requires countries to play by fair environmental rules if they want to send their goods to the United States, and upgrades NAFTA by putting fully enforceable environment obligations at the core of the agreement.” In addition, TPP helps improve conditions on the ground in TPP countries by requiring them to:
* Fulfill their obligations under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) to protect and conserve iconic species, such as rhinos and elephants.
* For the first time in any trade agreement, prohibit harmful fisheries subsidies, including those that contribute to overfishing, and work to restrain new subsidy programs or enhancements to existing subsidy programs.
* Combat illegal fishing, promote sustainable fisheries management practices, and protect wetlands and important natural areas.
* Promote the long-term conservation of whales, dolphins, sharks, sea turtles, and other marine species at risk.
* Combat wildlife trafficking, illegal logging, and illegal fishing through enhanced national and regional actions.
* Protect the marine environment from ship pollution, including by implementing their obligations under MARPOL (an international agreement to prevent marine pollution).
Now that the USA is pulling out, world leaders are considering China to replace the USA — a move that would backfire in Trump’s face.