It seems that “America first” means America alone … and that is not good for America or for the rest of the world.
Fortunately, there remain leaders of erstwhile allies and partners who refuse to be bullied and who are prepared to stay the course for the sake of the well-being, not only of their own compatriots, but of all of humanity and of the planet we share. The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said today:
The European Union will not renegotiate the Paris Agreement [on climate change]. The 29 articles of the agreement must be implemented and not renegotiated. Climate action does not need more distractions. We have spent 20 years negotiating. Now it is the time for action. Now it is the time for implementation.
He affirmed that the US ‘abandonment’ will not mean the end of the agreement, but would make the world more united and determined to work towards the accord’s full implementation.
Because we must! If we care about our children and our grandchildren, we must! If we care about the planet with which we have been entrusted, we must!
Climate change is truly a global issue, an impending catastrophe to which all peoples contribute and by which all peoples will be impacted. Confronting its perils will require long-range thinking, coordinated effort, and common sacrifice. There is no better or worse “deal” to be found, for any given nation, for any given economy. There may not be nations, let alone economies, if we do not act now with resolve.
May the best hopes of European leaders like Hilda Heine, president of the Marshall Islands, be fulfilled that the nations of the world may “use the three years before the US pulls out of Paris to try to convince President Trump of the importance of climate action.” And may American recover some of its capacity for moral leadership, leading not by intimidation, but by example, not saying “me first,” but standing for liberty and justice and dignity and life for all.