Agenda2030 in the Age in of Donald Trump
InNovember 2016, the United States through a common decision voted inDonald Trump to over the white house in one of the intenselycontested elections in the history of the country. All along analystsand poll leaders had predicted that Hillary Clinton would garner thepopular vote and the victory of Trump took the world by surprise.Like any other American election, the 2016 contest was marked byantagonistic approach towards major factors of importance to thecountry in including the policies on environmental change,international relations, immigration job creation, the position ofthe United States on China, Russia among other issues. Donald Trumphas been vocal on the policies, and his position has been termed asradical and hard to implement without putting the country on thereceiving of criticism from the international community. Trump’sgovernment will fortify the internal institutions and superiority oflife of the citizens while having unfavorable implications on theinternational relations and this will abate the intentions of Agenda2030 that visualizes the world with clean air and regionalcollaboration.
Theplayers in the global affairs have been persistent in the process ofachieving the milestones as illustrated by Agenda 2030. The 17 goalsratified by the United nations member countries act as guidelinestowards achieving a sustainable development across the globe as wellas achieving the highest levels of democracy (Assembly 4). The UnitedStates plays a significant role in global affairs as a superpower anda major source of funding for developing countries. Its position,therefore, on the Agenda 2030 can have far-reaching effects not onlyon its citizens but also to others in other regions where the countryhas influence. Understanding how Trump’s administration will affectthe implementation of the goals will be imperative for Mr. Guterres,the incoming secretary-general of the United Nations as he convenesthe 72nd general assembly in 2017.
First,Trump has been non-committal about climate change. Goal 13 of Agenda2030 aims to set energy consumption quotas with a long-term goal ofcriminalizing the lifestyles that have detrimental effects on theenvironment worldwide (Lee 14). The United Nations also seeks toengage the countries in establishing local surveillance mechanisms toget track of their energy consumption and curb emissions into theatmosphere (Rogers 6). The goal was instigated by the rising levelsof carbon components in the air and the increasing number ofrespiratory complications as a result of inhaling contaminatedgasses.
Currently,the level of carbon stands at 386 parts per million. This hasresulted in an intense global warming that has been traced since theera of industrialization (Nor 656). Before countries began producingmassively by increasing the number of industries, the concentrationof carbon in the air was about 270 parts per million (Nor 657). It isevident that the heightened emissions of carbon in the atmospherethrough the use of non-renewable energy have resulted in theincreased concentration. The United Nations, therefore, through thevarious conventions has tried to address the issue with a goal ofinstigating the major producing countries to curb local productionsand lead the way for a cleaner world. The Paris Agreement is part ofthe United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that dealswith greenhouse gasses mission and adoption that will commence in2020 (Abeysinghe and Barakat 21). The membership currently stands at117 countries and the United States is part of the deal. However, theratification is open to members until April 2017.
Inthe wake of new administration led by Donald Trump, Mr. Guterresshould come to terms with the likely position of the United States onthe policy of climate change. First, Trump does not believe in thehuman causation of the global warming. During his campaign andpresidential debates with his arch rival, Hilary Clinton, Trumpillustrated that he does not believe in the scientific explanation ofglobal warming and he refers to it as a hoax (Rogers 9). His positionas the president-elect and as the head of the government next year islikely to sway the attitude of other countries towards the policy.For example, under President Obama, the country demonstrated itssupport for cleaner environment and air by ratifying the agreement on22nd April 2016. The incoming president has publicly declared hisdisapproval for the Paris Agreement and he intends to dismantle in bywithdrawing the ratification of the United States. During the sciencedebate, Trump indicated that the United States should not bother tocommit financial resources to climate change and should insteadredirect the funds to ensuring that all the citizens have access toclean water and the adoption of alternative sources of energy (Rogers12).
Thisis likely to reduce the number of countries that have committed tothe Agreements and derail the United Nations’ efforts to achieveuniform reduction of carbon concentration in all the regions. Therationale for this is that the United States is a major contributorto the global warming phenomena. According to the World ResourcesInstitute, the United States, from 1850 to 2011, has singly hasproduced 27% of the carbon dioxide emission in the world (Nor 658).The possible withdrawal of the country from the ratification canresult in an unsustainable war towards global warming.
Mr.Guterres should also note that the ratification of China is used as abaseline for Trump’s argument towards global warming. Whileapproving the Paris Agreement, the Chinese government indicated thatthe Basic Law of the Hong Kong Administrative Region of the People’sRepublic of China, the law applies to the Hong Kong SpecialAdministrative Region and the Macao Special Administrative Region(Abeysinghe and Barakat 25). According to Trump, the global warmingdebate has been crafted by China to crump down the growth of theAmerican industries. The argument is based on the fact that China isnow producing more than the United States. However, the battle of thetitans cannot auger well with the objective of the United Nationstowards reversing the effects of climate change.
ThePolicy on Infrastructure
Agenda2030 also revolves around building resilient infrastructure thatpromotes sustainable industrialization and supports innovation. TheUnited Nations through its members has noted the inequality thatexists between the developing and first world countries in theirinfrastructural developments. Most of the times, the internalmechanisms, and objectives of donor countries influence the purposeof aid sent to the recipient states. Agenda 2030 appreciates theimportant component of the physical infrastructure in air and seatravel (Assembly 6). Statistics gathered in 2014 indicated that about45% of passengers who traveled by air came from developing countrieswhile the rest were from the economically progressed states. However,the poorly developed countries form the bulk of unemployment in theworld (Assembly 12).
TheUnited States is a key partner of many developed and progressingcountries, and it infrastructural development and creation ofemployment have far reaching effects. The country has also not fullyrecovered from the effects of the recession that shook the economy in2008. Trump has criticized the current administration for paying lessattention to the infrastructural development leading to thousands ofproductive citizens missing out in the workforce. His revitalizationplan is in line with the objective of Agenda 2030.
Trumpaims at transforming the crumbling infrastructure into one of themost competitive globally through an accelerated growth through adeficit-neutral program. This will target new opportunities forinvestors. He also prioritizes the American Infrastructure Firstpolicy that will attract investors to put resources in transport,clean water, high-end telecommunication development and the providingthe citizens with a reliable electricity grid. By doing this Trumphopes to deviate from Obama’s globalization agenda that has focusedmore on climate change at the expense of domestic infrastructuralgrowth. According to Rogers, the revitalization plan as envisaged byTrump is expected to create thousands of jobs for the productivecitizens in the construction, steel, manufacturing and transportsectors (17). Others will also be absorbed in telecommunications,energy and water projects and this will give the country a neweconomic outlook.
Inline with the focus of Agenda 2030 that seeks to create aninfrastructural connection between different regions, Trump has abold plan for cost effective road networks, bridges tunnels,railways, and airports. He has quoted re-energizing the vision ofPresident Eisenhower who advocated for an interstate highway network.He has also expressed his willingness to work with the Congress tostrengthen the FAA and TSA to ensure that the American airspaceremains safe for both the local and international passengers.
Trump’spolicy, if implemented to the letter, is likely to place the UnitedStates on a sustainable path to innovation and infrastructuraldevelopment. The rationale for this is that about 60,000 bridges areconsidered structurally deficient, and thousands of roads needredesigning to accommodate the increased traffic (Dorf 72). Asignificant number of major roads joining different states have beentermed as being below average in quality and meeting the needs of theusers. Every year the country incurs approximately $50 billion inlosses as a result of traffic delays (Dorf 72). In addition, a surveyconducted by the National Association of Manufacturers in the UnitedStates advised that without a major overhaul in infrastructuraldevelopment and manufacturing, the country will lose more than 2.5million jobs by 2025 (Dorf 72).While convening the 72nd generalassembly convention, Mr. Guterres should count on the united statesas one of the countries with a model plan for achieving Goal 9 asoutlined in Agenda 2030.
Agenda2030 also seeks to promote and achieve the peaceful co-existence ofsocieties to support sustainable development through ensuring accessto justice and strengthening institutions. The goal is driven by therapid globalization that is taking place resulting weakened barriersto movement. It is, therefore, necessary for the member countries toratify friendly policies not only for the citizens but also for thebenefit of the international community. After the November electionoutcomes, the world was not sure of what to make out of Trump’sradical stance on the presence of foreigners in the country.According to Livermore, his policy on the foreign communities livingin the United States is likely to lacerate the objective of theUnited Nations and affect the relationship of the country with otherplayers in the international arena (8).
Mostof the immigrants striving to get into the United States aremotivated by the opportunities in the country as a result of itsgigantic economy. Trump feels that the Obama administration has beenlax in allowing foreigners into the country without following thelaid down procedures (Trump 6). Although it is necessary to have ascreening mechanism to avoid taking in criminals into the country,his biased proposals, particularly for Muslims, is seen as a ripplein the international cohesion.
Mr.Guterres should be informed that Trump is likely to suspend theintake of citizens from countries that have been associated withterrorism as part of his grand plan to make the United States greatagain. He has vowed to deport all the illegal immigrants immediatelyafter assuming office and terminate the policy of the currentadministration that has weakened the enforcement of deportation laws(Trump 9). While this is legally valid, it will resonate with theinternational community and possibly put the United States on thespot for assuming an isolationist position. In addition, the jobsthat the immigrants enjoy in the country are likely to come to an endwith the government enforcement of the prioritization of Americancitizens to occupy the available positions. Another aspect of thepolicy that Mr. Guterres may find import t to the goal of theinternational association is the barring of all foreigners who do notand any financial value to the American economy. Such a bias may notbe received well by the countries that contribute the biggest numberof immigrants. Furthermore, the United Nations is still strugglingwith an influx of immigrants from Syria and the strict measures beingimplemented to bar their entry into first world countries includingFrance, Britain and now the United States.
Theobjectives of Goal 16 are under jeopardy from Trump’s policies tolacerate the relationship between the country and Mexico. Trump hasbeen passionate about building a wall to separate America with Mexicoand making the country pay for it (Trump 9). Ideally, the Mexicangovernment may not be in a position to foot the expenses of a wallwhich cost has been estimated to be more than what the United Statesspent during the Vietnam War. The relationship between the twocountries should be a position of interest for the United Nations.The sustainability of the peaceful co-existence that has been presentin the region despite the strain of immigration and infiltration ofdrugs is on the verge of collapsing.
Conclusively,Trump’s administration will strengthen the internal institutionsand quality of life of the citizens while having detrimental effectson the international relations and this will weaken the objectives ofAgenda 2030 that envisions the world with clean air and regionalcooperation. Trump does not believe in the human cause of globalwarming, and he takes it as a hoax and a plan by China to reduce thecapacity of the American industries. His administration also intendsto dismantle the Paris Agreement. Furthermore, the immigration policythat Trump advocates for will suspend the intake of foreigners fromMuslim countries and construction of a wall between the country andMexico. The peaceful co-existence between the two countries is on theverge of collapsing, and this should attract the interest of theUnited Nations. However, his proposal for the revitalization of thecountry’s infrastructural development is in line with Agenda 2030that seeks to instigate member countries to strengthen localeconomies and creation of jobs. Mr. Guterres, therefore, has achallenging way ahead since the influence of the United States cannotbe overlooked when discussing matters of global importance.
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