President Trump Waffling on Climate Change Creates Divide Between US, Allies

Statement by Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy at UCS

Published May 27, 2017

WASHINGTON (May 27, 2017)—Leaders of the G-7 countries—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States—and representatives of the European Union met this week in Italy to discuss paramount global issues. This morning they released their official “communiqué,” a document outlining the group’s position on top priorities, which due to the split between President Trump and the others leaders offered only minimal language on climate change and energy. It did state that all the countries except the U.S. strongly support the Paris Agreement—a global effort undertaken by nearly 200 countries to limit the worst impacts of climate change. 

Below is a statement from Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) and a leading expert on the United Nation’s international climate negotiations process. 

“President Trump’s continued waffling on whether to stay in or withdraw from the Paris Agreement made it impossible to reach consensus at the Taormina summit on the need for ambitious climate action. But he stands in stark isolation, as the leaders from Europe, Canada, and Japan have made it crystal clear they intend to fully implement their national commitments under the Paris Agreement and pursue efforts to decarbonize the global economy.  

“Hundreds of U.S. states, cities, and companies are also moving forward on climate action, as they recognize the tremendous economic development and job creation potential offered by rapid deployment of clean energy technologies. President Trump should join these leaders in protecting Americans from the mounting impacts of climate change and reaping the economic benefits of the clean energy revolution, rather than trying to shore up the flagging fortunes of the polluting coal and oil industries.

“From increased tidal flooding, to worsening droughts, to longer wildfire seasons, communities across the U.S. are already experiencing the costly and harmful impacts of climate change. Meeting the Paris Agreement’s temperature limitation goals is in the environmental, economic and national security interests of the United States, whereas President Trump’s ‘climate inaction plan’ is a threat to every American’s health and future prosperity.”

For more information about other nations leading the charge on renewable energy, including China and India, check out the latest blog by Rachel Cleetus, lead economist and climate policy manager at UCS.