As President Trump was preparing to announce future plans for U.S. involvement in the Paris Agreement on global climate change, Virginia Tech Senior Research Associate Carol Franco was already examining the potential impact on people and ecosystems.
She has also participated in the negotiations of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) since 2012 as a member of the Dominican Republic delegation.
“We will all suffer the impacts and consequences of climate change and some countries can already attest to this,” said Franco. “The withdrawal of the U.S., in the long run, could discourage other countries from fulfilling their pledges and commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and consequently, also withdraw from the Paris Agreement. This ultimately sends us back to the course of business as usual which will lead to temperature increases with unfortunate consequences.”
“The Paris Agreement is the only agreement that includes both developed and developing countries. If we learned something from the past is that if the largest emitters are not included in the agreement, this will be ineffective.”
“The U.S. is the largest economy of the world and the second largest emitter, after China. The U.S. is also the country
with the largest historic, cumulative greenhouse gas emissions, as well as carbon dioxide emissions.”
“We should care because we need to think about future generations and the legacy we are leaving them. We should care because climate change is a reality and is here to stay, ignoring it or denying it will not make it go away.”