Civil society strongly condemns Trump's decision to withdraw US from the Paris Agreement

1 June 2017:  The decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement signals that the Trump Administration is in total discord with both reality and the rest of the world.
The Agreement, ratified by 147 out of the 197 signatory countries, entered into force in 2016 with unprecedented speed, demonstrating that countries are determined to move forward with climate action.

Unfortunately, the first to suffer from this injudicious decision is the American people. This action is totally contrary to their best interests: their health, security, food supply, jobs and future.
By turning its back on climate action, the Trump administration burdens the American people with rising costs and risks from pollution, environmental degradation and lost opportunities in developing a low-carbon economy.  

Leading international climate experts and advocates who are part of the Climate Action Network issued the following statements

“Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement is an act of global environmental vandalism that has the potential to do great harm to current and future generations. Even without the US as a party, Paris still represents our best chance of avoiding severe and destabilising climate change. The rest of the world must continue to build on Paris to speed the transition to a cleaner, lower-carbon world. The direction of travel is clear, and climate action will continue globally and within the US, as states and businesses continue to drive progress. In the meantime the commitment of the UK, the EU and other leading nations is more important than ever.” - Jonathan Church, lawyer, ClientEarth

"As global temperatures hit record high every year now, the world is rightfully outraged by the decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement.
We welcome the strong statements from all other world leaders that their countries will not withdraw their commitments, goals, policies and actions related to climate change. Unlike the view of the current US administration, countries all over the world see the Paris Agreement as an engine for growth and jobs. The EU is already strengthening its alliances with countries like China and Canada, as well as those most affected by climate change.  The EU needs to step up its game now, to trigger more climate action and smooth the way for scaling up the Paris climate pledges.” - Wendel Trio, Director, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe 

“Canada has quickly established a track record of collaborating and working across differences to launch coherent climate strategies. Now is the moment for Canada to take that to the next level, and emerge on the world stage as a bold climate leader. Trump may be ready to abandon the benefits associated with climate action, including improved air quality and human health, job creation in emerging industries, and international influence. Yet it is clear that American states, communities, and businesses are not willing to make the same sacrifice. Canadian governments and citizens will continue to work with these entities and allies in Mexico to maintain North American momentum on climate action.” - Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, Climate Action Network Canada

“The historic Paris Agreement was achieved thanks in large part to US climate diplomacy, but it will succeed with or without the US, as the rest of the world remain committed to the low-carbon transition. The 20th Century was powered by fossil fuels and America dominated the world. The 21st Century will be powered by clean energy and Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement could mark the end of American supremacy.” - Mohamed Adow, International Climate Lead, Christian Aid

 “The world’s biggest historic emitter walking away from its climate change commitments is gravely unjust, but we must respond by redoubling our efforts. Those on the frontlines of climate change demand nothing less.” - Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director, Oxfam International

 “Trump has no mandate from the US public to weaken the Paris Agreement, and should not be making big decisions while under investigation.  This cowardly failure to lead will only make us stronger as a movement as we push harder for just and equitable climate action.”
-Keya Chatterjee, Executive Director, US Climate Action Network
[For quotes from US climate experts, please visit the US Climate Action Network Quote Sheet.] 

 “Trump has cast America adrift from the global community and the reality of climate change. The fossil fuel industry and climate change deniers have set up shop in the White House, and they’re putting the lives and livelihoods of millions of people on the line. This should be a trigger for increased action on climate in Europe, to end fossil fuel dependency by 2030.”
- Susann Scherbarth, climate justice and energy campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe

“U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement will erode America’s standing in the world at a time when global cooperation is needed more than ever. Coming on the heels of a budget proposal that, if enacted, would increase suffering among the poorest and make the world a more dangerous place, the Trump Administration’s intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement is another failure of U.S. leadership. Addressing climate change is critical to the continued progress to combat extreme poverty and to alleviate humanitarian crises. Walking away from the Paris Agreement now is a sign that America is prepared, not only to stand in isolation, but also to walk away from its partners, from its moral responsibility, and from the promise it owes to future generations of a healthy and safe planet.” -Michelle Nunn, president and CEO, CARE USA

“Donald Trump is on a mission to sacrifice our planet to the fossil fuel industry. By pulling out of the Paris Agreement, Trump has turned the United States into the world’s foremost climate villain.
The rest of the world must move forward aggressively without the world’s leading historical contributor of greenhouse gas emissions. Friends of the Earth U.S. calls on all nations to assert heavy economic and diplomatic pressure to compel the Trump Administration to take serious climate action to protect people and the planet.
The majority of Americans reject Trump’s extreme agenda and demand climate action. Today’s announcement only strengthens our resistance.” - Erich Pica, Friends of the Earth U.S. President

“In a world where climate change impacts are affecting millions of people every day, President Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement is shortsighted and against history. However, this will not stop the transition: from countries to cities, from businesses to citizens the world has taken a very clear path which must gradually lead to a full decarbonization of the economy, in line with the targets set by science, to leave current and future generations a sustainable planet. 
We welcome statements from other countries as well as those from states and cities in the US, reaffirming their commitment to continue working to combat climate change and all inequalities arising from it.”
Federico Brocchieri, Vice President, Italian Climate Network (ICN)

“Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement will turn America from a global climate leader into a flat earth society of one. It is a morally-bankrupt decision that Trump will come to regret. Global climate action is not a legal or political debate, it is an inescapable obligation to protect people and planet.
“Trump is surrendering US global leadership to real world leaders who are seizing the momentum to protect their country and the climate by transforming their economies to clean energy. We are witnessing a seismic shift in the global order as Europe, China and others lead the way forward.
“Almost 200 countries committed to climate action in Paris and only one has decided to withdraw. This is how far out of step Trump is with the rest of the world. It is the changing of the global guard - as the US bows out, world leaders, CEOs and people across the world can and are moving forward into the future.”
- Jennifer Morgan, Greenpeace International Executive Director

 “Millions of people around the world are already forced to live with a climate crisis they didn’t cause. By taking this step, the Trump administration continues to put its fingers in its ears and turn its back on the rest of the world. All countries should see this U.S. administration for what it is – a mouthpiece for some of the world’s dirtiest industries – and must move forward without the U.S. for now, resisting all further attempts by Trump to undermine progress in the fight against climate change.” - Brandon Wu, Director of Policy and Campaigns, ActionAid USA

“I’d like to say to  the Trump Administration: If you leave, then leave. From now on the rest of the world will move forward. We don’t need you to interfere with the Paris Agreement.”
Hans Verolme, Senior Strategic Adviser, Climate Advisers Network

“It is a particularly harsh response from the perspective of countries in the Global South that are striving to limit their own carbon emissions and are experiencing the worst impacts of climate change; these communities are witnessing destruction of their land, environment, and traditional practices in support of a global economy with limited benefits for them. This decision by the United States should be a signal to the other 194 signatories to redouble their efforts, strengthen their commitments, and reject the fossil-fuel-based economy that the Trump administration is pushing forward.” - Denise Auclair, Interim Secretary General, CIDSE

“The Paris Agreement is the world’s collective response to tackling climate change. But the transformative power of the Paris Agreement lies in the targets that it triggers, and nations must hold each other accountable for their promises.

 “A race to the bottom when it comes to our efforts to cut carbon pollution benefits no one as climate change affects everyone. 
“Cities, states, companies and the public in the US and around the world support climate action, and are already contributing to creating low-carbon economies from the bottom up. 
“Fortunately, the Paris Agreement is bigger than any one nation or any one government. We can still achieve the promise of Paris, but we have no time to lose. Countries around the world must seize the opportunity to unleash this potential, invest in renewable energy that eliminates harmful carbon pollution, and build economies that are more resilient, inclusive and prosperous.” - Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, WWF’s Global Climate & Energy Practice Leader   

"In the face of a dangerous and failing Trump administration, and its withdrawal of the US from the Paris Climate Accord, the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network stands in solidarity with our partners, frontline communities and Indigenous peoples worldwide as we continue to organize ceaselessly and rise ever more boldly to end extraction of fossil fuels and the destruction of the planet for profit and power. Women worldwide are working everyday to protect our lands, waters, climate and children’s futures - and though the challenges and injustices we face are many - women will be undeterred in our action and advocacy for a just and livable world. " - Osprey Orielle Lake, Executive Director, Women's Earth and Climate Action Network (WECAN International)

“U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement will erode America’s standing in the world at a time when global cooperation is needed more than ever. Coming on the heels of a budget proposal that, if enacted, would increase suffering among the poorest and make the world a more dangerous place, the Trump Administration’s intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement is another failure of U.S. leadership. Addressing climate change is critical to the continued progress to combat extreme poverty and to alleviate humanitarian crises. Walking away from the Paris Agreement now is a sign that America is prepared, not only to stand in isolation, but also to walk away from its partners, from its moral responsibility, and from the promise it owes to future generations of a healthy and safe planet.” -Michelle Nunn, president and CEO, CARE USA

 The Paris Agreement is a lifeline for small islands and vulnerable communities everywhere. President Trump’s decision to withdraw from Paris will not bring prosperity to the US. It will create further injustice for those who have contributed little to climate change. - Farhana Yamin, Founder and CEO, Track 0

“The Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement is reckless, irresponsible, and unjust.  Climate change is already wreaking havoc and demands action. This overwhelming recognition that climate action can no longer wait led to the rapid entry into force of the Paris Agreement, and the Trump Administration’s misguided decision does not change that.  People, businesses, US cities and states, and countries around the world will keep moving forward to address the climate threat with or without this Administration.  
Donald Trump’s decision to pull the US out of Paris will not save the coal industry or fossil fuels, but instead will slow the urgent action that is needed and undermine the ability of the US to negotiate any international agreement, leaving it isolated and irrelevant.  Mr. Trump may be out, but he doesn’t speak for the world.  The rest of us are still in.  The future demands nothing less.” - Erika Lennon, Senior Attorney, Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)

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About Climate Action Network:
Climate Action Network (CAN) is a global network of over 1200 NGOs working to promote government and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to ecologically sustainable levels. www.climatenetwork.org

 
For more information, contact:
Dharini Parthasarathy, Communications Coordinator, Policy, CAN International; email: dparthasarathy@climatenetwork.org, or whatsapp/call on +918826107830, or
Hala Kilani, Senior Communications Officer, CAN, hkilani@climatenetwork.org