Why do people still need to protect the environment in the face of climate change?
This is part of BBC Focus on Climate, a series highlighting the key issues facing the planet and its people.
Read moreRead moreWhat is ‘environment protection’?
In the US, the phrase “environment protection” refers to an international agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions that was signed in 1990 and aims to limit global warming to 2C.
It is not a law or policy that requires any individual to take action, but rather a set of principles and legal structures that encourage individuals to do so.
The agreement calls for governments to take all feasible measures to protect biodiversity, the environment and people’s health, and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and prevent the release of dangerous climate change-related greenhouse gases.
It also requires countries to work together to promote and protect biodiversity and its habitat.
“The international law that governs these principles is the Kyoto Protocol,” says Dr Peter Schott, an environmental law expert at the University of Delaware in Delaware, US.
“So we have the international agreement, the international legal structure, and then the individual countries have to follow it.”
In recent years, there have been calls for the US to withdraw from the Kyoto agreement and take a different approach to protecting biodiversity, which is considered one of the most important environmental issues in the world.
In 2017, a group of environmental groups sued the Trump administration to force it to drop its plans to withdraw.
In the lawsuit, they argued that the president was breaking the law by not formally withdrawing from the treaty, which the US constitution requires.
“President Trump is not legally bound by the Kyoto Accord,” the lawsuit read.
“He is bound to follow the law.”
But the US is the largest greenhouse gas polluter on the planet.
US President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday calling for a “national approach” to climate change, which he said was “not the solution”.
The president also signed a memorandum saying the US was committed to reducing emissions.
“We must move forward to protect our environment and the environment to protect ourselves,” Trump said in a speech.
He said the US had made commitments to the international community to reduce emissions, but the US could not meet those commitments because of a “weak and divided” international climate agreement.
“What I would do is put our citizens first, and let the world take care of its own,” he said.
But climate activists and some economists say the administration’s move is not the solution to climate protection.
“It is a very dangerous strategy to withdraw because you are still in the treaty and if you withdraw, it is just going to accelerate the process of climate denial and will have the opposite effect,” said Dr Michael E Mann, an economist at Penn State University in Pennsylvania.
“It will just accelerate the climate denial.
It will have no impact on the greenhouse gas concentrations, which are already at a very high level.”
The administration says it will continue to follow a “balanced approach” and has said it is committed to protecting the environment.
The Trump administration said the president had made clear that he would be withdrawing from all international agreements that could lead to a global climate catastrophe, including the Kyoto and Paris agreements, the Paris Agreement on climate change and the Clean Air Act.
“In the past, the president has taken a strong stand against the threat of climate destruction and the need for effective and fair global action,” a White House spokesman said in response to questions about Trump’s climate plan.
“That is why we will continue working with Congress, state and local governments, industry, and other leaders to protect American jobs, our way of life and our environment.”‘
It’s a really sad situation’: The US Environmental Protection AgencyA few weeks ago, the US EPA announced it would be ending the Kyoto treaty.
It announced that it would replace the Clean Power Plan, which requires states to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 25 per cent from 2020 to 2030.
The EPA has also said it would take action against states that did not comply with the agreement.
Environmental groups, however, are calling the administration “irresponsible” and “disgraceful”.
“If the president wants to get on the bandwagon of protecting our environment, he can, but he can’t ignore the fact that he’s violating the treaty,” said Sarah Haskins, the director of the US chapter of the Sierra Club.
“If you’re going to get rid of a treaty that protects us from climate change then it’s irresponsible to get involved in a climate change treaty that is going to require us to be responsible and not take action.”
“If this administration is serious about reducing CO2 emissions, then they should take a hard look at the environmental benefits that come from the CO2 emission reductions that they are pursuing and the environmental costs that they’re imposing on us,” she added.
Climate change is already having a significant impact on agriculture and the natural environment, with some studies