The Paris Deal, Trump’s Withdrawal And The Nigerian Situation

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The Paris Deal, Trump’s Withdrawal And The Nigerian Situation, By Mercy Ezehi

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The World received a shocker on June 1, 2017 when President Donald Trump publicly disclosed his intention to remove his country from the Climate Change Agreement, a Deal which he described as inequitable, an attempt to remove jobs and wealth from American citizens and companies, and giving other countries unfair advantage.

This article was written by Mercy Ezehi. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of

His utterances sounded more like the world gathered in Paris and plotted against America. To Trump, the United States emits less carbon compared to other countries like China and India, yet the world is looking up to the U.S. to do a whole lot more about this! More, in terms of reducing carbon emissions, embracing more green initiatives and also committing more resources to programmes around the world that contribute substantially to achieving the agreements reached, hence, for him, the Climate Deal is worth re-negotiating because it has no tangible benefit to the US.

The decision of President Trump has been refuted by many world leaders. The UN has described it as a major disappointment, some States in America have refused to support Trump on this, many companies are going ahead with implementing parts of the Deal, and green lights are now seen on the roof tops of some towers in New York, showing solidarity with the Deal and not Trump! The immediate past president of the U.S., Barack Obama, who sealed the Deal for America on August 29, 2016, has also dissociated himself from Trump’s intention, expressing confidence in the ability of the United States to unite against Trump and move forward with all that was agreed on.

Whether we admit it or not, President Trump is not likely to waver on his renunciation, as he considers that if the Deal must stand, it has to be ‘Americanised’; after all, countries are expected to domesticate agreements, and not take them hook, line and sinker.

Nigeria signed the Paris Declaration on September 22, 2016 and ratified the agreement on May 16, 2017. So far, very little has been done since the signing of the Declaration. Perhaps we have more pressing issues to contend with: recession, hunger, unemployment, challenges of governance, internal threats, an ailing president, etc. It therefore seems ‘okay’ not to interfere in matters that concern the global community; what is more, we are yet to fulfill our part of the Abuja 2001 Health Deal, let alone start worrying about the Climate Deal agreed on just two years ago, in Paris! We might even conclude that it is America’s business and not ours. In fairness to the media, a few of them have aired the news, however what remains to be seen is the impact America’s withdrawal will have on Nigeria – given that the U.S. contributes substantially to funding development programmes in Nigeria.

The effects of climate change are already visible in our clime; we are witnesses to changing weather patterns, rising sea levels, extreme weather events, soil degradation and more. Communities have been sacked by erosion, social amenities have been washed away, farmlands grossly affected and widespread hunger and diseases in the land. Conflicts in communities have deepened, leaving them poorer and in a state of total dependence. Women and children have been affected the most!

As the world waits for Trump, Nigeria, being one of the signatories to the Deal, has to strategise and work out its own solutions to the problems that climate change poses. We must return to the drawing board and ask critical questions such as: What have we done since the Deal was adopted in December 2015? What plans have we put in place? Are our plans incorporating climate change issues? What initiatives are in place to achieve a low–carbon economy? Are our initiatives sustainable? Where will the resources come from? How do we make Nigerians take responsibility and act in order to protect our environment? How do we domesticate the Deal and make it our own?

It is not enough to sign deals, what is more important is what we do after the deals have been signed. Nigeria has a record of not deliberately working to ensure agreements are achieved, making the country’s participation, signing and follow up ratification seem like mere ceremonies.

We cannot afford to fail on this one, lest we are consumed by our own negligence.

Mercy Ezehi, a development worker and advocate for the SDGs, is president of Anvil Research Centre (ARC), Abuja.

This article was written by Mercy Ezehi. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of



I am but your herald boy in the art of the pen.. An eccentric Environmental Biologist smouldered in the glorious epiphany of online journalism. If you ever find my article unduly insipid, sue me and i’ll refund you...

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