WASHINGTON (June 1, 2017)—President Trump announced today that he would seek to remove the United States from the Paris Agreement, which was adopted by nearly 200 countries in 2015 and aims to limit global climate change.
Below are statements 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, and Ken Kimmell, president of UCS and a former commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and chair of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
“President Trump’s decision to walk away from the Paris Agreement and roll back cost-effective domestic actions to reduce climate change risks is reprehensible, and will protect the profits of fossil fuel polluters while risking the health and well-being of current and future generations. The Paris Agreement is our best hope to mount an effective global response to the threat of climate change and is supported by a strong majority of Americans, many of whom are already experiencing the costly and harmful impacts of climate change here at home.
“Fortunately, the clean energy revolution is well underway and can’t be halted by President Trump’s ill-informed choice. Other leaders have made it clear that despite President Trump’s irresponsible action today, they intend to fully implement their national commitments under the Paris Agreement; not one country has said they will follow President Trump in pulling out of Paris.
“As we just saw at the G-7 summit in Italy, President Trump’s stance that climate change is not a serious threat demanding meaningful action is isolating him on the international stage and will reduce his ability to influence world leaders on trade, terrorism and other vital issues. By ceding the U.S.’s historic leadership role on climate and energy issues to other nations, he is also forfeiting any ability to help shape international policies in this area.”
“There’s no sugarcoating it: this is one of the most reckless and reprehensible decisions ever made by a U.S. president. However, there’s a lot we can do to mitigate the damage of this decision. States, cities, and businesses can continue to raise their ambition level. They should take full advantage of rapid technology advances and falling costs to reap the economic benefits of transitioning to a clean energy economy. President Trump can withdraw from the Paris Agreement, but he can’t defeat our nation’s commitment to leave our children and grandchildren with a habitable climate.”