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Day 30 – Q 4.Was it ethical on part of the US to withdraw from the UN climate deal? Critically examine.

4. Was it ethical on part of the US to withdraw from the UN climate deal? Critically examine. 

क्या अमेरिका द्वारा संयुक्त राष्ट्र जलवायु समझौते से अपनी भागीदारी वापस लेने का निर्णय नैतिक था? समालोचनात्मक जांच करें।


  • Introduction
  • Ethicality on part of the US- Critical examination.
  • Conclusion


On June 1, 2017, United States President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would cease all participation in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation. Trump stated that “The Paris accord will undermine (the U.S.) economy,” and “puts (the U.S.) at a permanent disadvantage.
The main aim of the Agreement is to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels”, predominantly by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Ethicality of the step taken:

It was not ethical as:

  • America is second largest emitter of GHGs after China. The economic growth witnessed by the nation was at the cost of environmental deterioration. Thus, by being party to Paris deal, US could pay back.
  • The step is against the principle of common responsibility.
  • The GHGs emissions done is past puts a moral obligation on US to take strict measures to cut it down in future.
  • It would have led to happiness of maximum people and thus would be ethical as per the concept of utilitarianism.
  • Ethical dissonance within US- While US is out of Paris deal, many of the US states and companies still consider themselves party to the deal.
  • The step take by US may result into domino effect, with other nations too withdrawing from the deal. This would bring to standstill one of the most comprehensive deal for climate change.

It was ethical as:

  • Being part of Paris deal would have resulted into cut down on industrial development thereby impacting economic growth. Thus, following the notion of “America first”, the step could be considered as ethical at least a micro level.
  • As Mr. Trump himself wasn’t part of the negotiations for the deal, his arguments against the deal have never been discussed.


US being a sovereign country, has all the right to withdraw itself from the Paris agreement. However, when it comes to global challenges, the principle of international ethics should be followed.

Best answer: Aishwarya Singh

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