'Trumping' the Paris agreement

by FESPA | 25/01/2017
'Trumping' the Paris agreement

There is much anticipation surrounding the new American president and the extent to which his actions match his rhetoric. 

One especially worrying set of decisions relate to the 45th president’s views on climate change in general and the Paris Climate Agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) specifically.

As of December 2016, 194 UNFCC member countries have signed this agreement which is now in effect. This comprehensive climate deal has several objectives which it hopes to achieve by 2020. The headline goal is to keep the rise in global average temperatures to less than 2° C above pre-industrial levels, ideally keeping the rise to no more than 1.5° C.

The agreement also aims to help countries and regions adapt to climate change. This will be done by encouraging development that improves resilience to adverse climate conditions, alongside development that has low greenhouse gas emissions.

Most crucial of all, and probably the reason that so many countries signed up to the deal, is to provide funding for development paths and technologies that cut greenhouse gas emissions and encourage low-carbon growth.

With a one-time climate change denier heading for the White House, this could all come unravelled, so a large group of 630 companies and investors has sent a statement to the Washington wonks. The group has requested the new administration not to turn away from advancing the low carbon economy, and especially not to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.

The group includes major print buyers such as Unilever and IKEA as well as technologists such as HP and Sealed Air a manufacturer of packaging materials.

Industrial sectors take a wide range of positions when it comes to improving their carbon footprints. In the graphics industry we are faced with extremes, possibly as much as other sectors. On one hand we have the amazing sustainability of print media products, the fact that they have a one-off carbon footprint and that aspects of production with a potential environmental impact are carefully managed.

On the other hand we have to accept that much of the environmental impact mitigation achieved in the printing industry has been achieved in order to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

The environmental benefits of technological advances, say to reduce energy usage or the recycling of consumables such as printing plates, are driven not so much by environmental goals as the desire for a financial and competitive edge.

Without a clear commitment to the environment at the highest levels of government, environmental progress will stall and with it economic progress. The new administration in the US risks undermining the health of the country’s international reputation if it chooses to abandon existing low-carbon policies.

Worse, a failure to invest in the domestic low-carbon economy or to work with partners overseas will create more uncertainty and undermine business confidence. Without US support for the Paris Climate Agreement that agreement is weakened and global warming will continue to increase. All of this is bad for the planet, and none of it will be good for the graphics industry.

by FESPA Back to News


Interested in joining our community?

Enquire today about joining your local FESPA Association or FESPA Direct

Enquire Today

Recent news

WrapFest 2024 sponsors put it in the fast lane
Vehicle Wrapping

WrapFest 2024 sponsors put it in the fast lane

WrapFest, the premier show for the vehicle and surface detailing community, has announced that 11 of the world's leading wrapping specialists have joined as sponsors, with more on their way, positioning it for an exceptional second event this October.

Transfer printing vs Foil cutting - what technique should you invest in?
Garment Printing

Transfer printing vs Foil cutting - what technique should you invest in?

There are many ways to decorate t-shirts and other apparel. Transfer printing and foil cutting are the most common techniques used. Sonja Angerer discusses which technology is best suited for which applications, which tools are needed and what printers should consider when investing.

Is inkjetprinting perfectly suited for promotional gifts?

Is inkjetprinting perfectly suited for promotional gifts?

Promotional gifts continue to be appealing for customers. Digital printing is perfect for taking haptic advertising to the next level. Sonja Angerer discusses what makes the combination of inkjet printing and promotional items so appealing for printers.

How to leverage technology to disrupt the future of sportswear manufacturing

How to leverage technology to disrupt the future of sportswear manufacturing

FESPA's Textile Ambassador, Debbie McKeegan speaks to 5 industry specialists from Stahls' UK & Europe, Kornit Digital, Antigro Designer, MS & JK Group and JK Group about the opportunities, challenges and solutions currently available for on-demand digitally printed textile production.