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US Climate Action Network Members React to Trump Paris Announcement

US Climate Action Network Members React to Trump Paris Announcement

Washington, DC  -- Leading US climate experts and advocates who are part of the US Climate Action Network issued the following statements:

“Trump has no mandate from the 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

 

“The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments is deeply disappointed in the Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw from the monumental Paris Agreement, the first legally binding commitment to address climate change on a global scale.  As one of the countries that has contributed the most to climate change, President Trump’s dangerous decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement shows poor leadership and disregard for the countries and populations that are most at risk for current and future impacts from climate change. Without strong action on a global scale we will continue to see increasing threats to human health, including increases in asthma and respiratory disorders, vector-borne diseases, and heat-related illness and death. The nursing profession has a moral responsibility to ensure that the health of our patients, communities, and future generations is protected, which is why the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments will continue to resist efforts that reverse action on climate and threaten public health.” Katie Huffling, Executive Director, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments

 

"The historic Paris Agreement set out a path for concrete global cooperation and action to combat climate change," said Robert Bank, President and CEO of American Jewish World Service. "Today's decision undercuts the agreement and undermines American credibility and leadership on the world stage. President Trump has broken America's promise and put the United States government on the wrong side of history, spurning our partners in combating climate change and abandoning the world's most vulnerable communities." Robert Bank, President and CEO of American Jewish World Service

 

“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 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 will 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

 

"Mayors and other local elected officials are ensuring that our Paris climate targets will be met, regardless of what Trump does. Cities like Portland,OR  are saying no to new fossil fuel export infrastructure, pushing for aggressive renewable energy targets and net zero buildings--all while creating good jobs and growing a sustainable economy." Daphne Wysham, Director, Climate Justice Program, Center for Sustainable Economy

 

"The decision by President Trump to exit the Paris climate agreement is one of the biggest failures of leadership in American history," said Mark Reynolds, executive director of Citizens' Climate Lobby.” Steve Valk, Communications Director, Citizens' Climate Lobby

 

“Today’s decision by the Trump administration to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement is an egregious mistake with economic, human, and environmental consequences. This brash, immoral action is out of step with the international community, and with American citizens, businesses, and local governments. Climate Generation was in Paris with a group of 10 Education Ambassadors during the negotiations leading up to the Agreement in 2015, and it was clear to us that there was an unprecedented level of international, multi-sector cooperation around tackling climate change. While the signal that Trump’s decision sends to world leaders is deeply troubling, we remain resolute in our conviction that American people at all scales and in multiple sectors will continue to advance climate change solutions and grow the clean energy economy.” Nicole Rom, Executive Director, Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy

 

“Trump’s decision is a destructive step backwards—the Paris Agreement was a major symbolic victory. But let’s be clear that it alone is woefully insufficient to protect the billions of people who are in grave danger already. Climate-concerned Americans must not simply play “defense” on this. As Trump tries to repeal the Affordable Care Act, progressives are playing offense by making the case for a single-payer system of “Medicare for All.” We must use the national wake-up call of Trump’s shameful leadership failure to make possible the scale and speed of action that can actually save our civilization and begin to restore a safe climate for all: a WWII-scale economic mobilization for zero emissions, 100% clean energy, and 100% employment in the next decade.” Margaret Klein Salamon, Director, The Climate Mobilization

 

“Trump's recklessness in withdrawing from the Paris agreement means that parents and families will more firmly dedicate ourselves to advocating for climate solutions at the state and local level. Elected leaders across the country as well as countless forward-thinking companies are still rapidly transitioning to clean energy. The US is already ​one third of the way to meeting our Paris carbon reduction target, and clean energy costs are falling fast, out competing polluting fossil fuels all over the country. So while Trump seeks to thwart our country's and the world's ability to fight climate change, we recommit to charge ahead.” Lisa Hoyos, Director, Climate Parents

 

“Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement is a crushing affront to Americans and a brutal blow to U.S. standing in the world.  But let’s be sober about what really changes now. Even before Trump, and despite the best efforts of President Obama and John Kerry in Paris, this nation’s response was unconscionably weak and slow.  Trump’s intransigence is a national disgrace, but it won’t weaken the resolve of American cities, states, companies, and communities committed to climate solutions.   It won’t dissuade the rest of the world from moving forward.  And it won’t stop the clean energy revolution. KC Golden, Senior Advisor, Climate Solutions and 350.org Interim Board Chair

 

“As Christians, we believe in loving our neighbors and honoring our Creator. The act of abandoning the Paris Climate Agreement is a failure to uphold these Christian values. Our nation of great wealth and influence has contributed disproportionately to the problem of global climate change. Both in the U.S. and abroad, people living in poverty who have contributed least to damaging the climate are suffering its worst impacts. It is our sacred task to honor our Creator by safeguarding creation and our neighbors from the harm of climate change.” Shantha Ready Alonso, Executive Director, Creation Justice Ministries

 

"Pulling out of the Paris climate agreement is not conservative, it's just boneheaded. President Reagan lead the world in addressing a global climate threat, ozone depletion, by pushing through the Montreal Protocol treaty, whereas Trump shrinks from such challenges. It is a stark contrast." David Jenkins, President, Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship

“I was fortunate enough to be at this history making conference. There was a great deal of discussion, story sharing, and passion utilized to come to an agreement that met the needs of a global community. To pull out of the agreement would be an insult to all those who worked so hard on this. It would also be a slap in the face to all those who are now suffering from the impacts of climate change. We have the responsibility to not only ourselves, but the world.” Mary Gutierrez, Executive Director, Earth Ethics, Inc.

 

“Far from putting America first, Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement is a short-sighted sop to the fossil fuel lobby. It is a profound failure of American global leadership. It willfully ignores the climate crisis. It costs U.S. workers clean energy jobs. Earthjustice will continue to do everything in our power to accelerate the clean energy transition in the United States and globally.” Trip Van Noppen, President, Earthjustice

 

“As a business stakeholder participant in numerous U.N. climate meetings over the past twenty years, I saw first- hand the ability of US negotiators at those meetings to promote global policies insuring American technology and business interests would benefit from US leadership in that forum. Abandoning the Paris Accord is essentially abandoning American economic interests at a critical time as the remainder of the world moves toward confronting climate issues.” Jared Blum, Board Chair, Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI)

 

“The Friends Committee on National Legislation is profoundly disappointed by President Trump’s decision to pull our nation from the Paris climate agreement. Climate disruption threatens present and future generations on a breadth and scale unlike any challenge humanity has faced.  As people of faith, we especially recognize the impacts of climate change upon the most vulnerable peoples. The Paris Agreement is the world’s collective first step towards meeting our shared responsibility for our future. For the President to abandon the agreement is to abandon this responsibility. This decision does not comport with the moral and theological values of countless faith traditions and people of good will. We pray the President will have a change of a heart.  The U.S. must remain a global leader and contributor to the solutions of climate change, for the sake of our future and our Earth.” Diane Randall, Executive Secretary, Friends Committee on National Legislation

 

“Muslims and the people of faith in the world's poorest countries will suffer more if the United States pulls out from the Paris Agreement on climate change. Profound disregard for the urgency of the climate crisis would result in the future devastation of our planet and the  collective failure of responsibility to uphold the sacred trust given by our Creator to be the stewards upon this earth.” Nana Firman, Muslim Outreach Director, GreenFaith

 

“People in communities like mine, who are living on the frontlines of some of the worst pollution in America, cannot afford to delay a transition to the new green economy or for climate justice. Prioritizing big oil profits over people and planet is literally killing our kids. Whether Trump steps backwards or aside -- we will rise. All across our nation, states, private industry and advocacy groups are coming together to step up where Trump’s administration has failed. What is happening in Washington is not reflective of the rest of our country. Working together, we can create a world that we want. This climate fight is about a new energy system that will heal the planet and improve people’s health. It is about putting Americans to work building a more sustainable future. It’s about safeguarding a future for our kids. Despite Trump’s waffling on our global climate commitments, Green For All remains resolute in the fight against climate change.” Vien Truong, Director, Green For All

 

"Donald Trump is steering the United States down a dangerous path that not only jeopardizes the public health and environment of our own citizens -- including millions of Latinos, who are often on the front lines of the worst impacts of climate change and pollution -- but also puts at risk the global community as a whole. Domestically, Hispanics face an increased vulnerability to the impacts of climate change and pollution. Whether it’s breathing toxic air from a nearby power plant, drinking unclean water, worrying about not having a home due to rising sea levels, or suffering from air quality-related respiratory illnesses, climate change is keeping many Latinos and other underrepresented communities from fully benefiting from a healthy and productive quality of life, which in turn affects our economy and productivity as a nation. None of these adverse and disproportionate impacts will be improved without international agreements like the Paris climate agreement because pollution does not stop at borders. “ Mark Magaña, President & CEO, GreenLatinos

 

“Perhaps no sector is more vulnerable to climate change than agriculture. The President’s decision to turn his back on global efforts to address climate change will hurt farmers in the U.S. and around the world. It is inexplicable and in willful denial of the urgent challenges already facing farmers and rural communities.” Ben Lilliston, Director of Climate Strategies, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

 

“The Trump administration’s actions to undo even the insufficiently ambitious steps taken by the prior administration to address climate change have virtually ensured that we will not meet our emissions reduction commitments under the Paris climate accord. Regardless, the U.S. withdrawal from the accord is not merely symbolic. By withdrawing from the agreement, the administration has signaled to the world that the U.S. refuses to take any responsibility for a crisis that it has played a large role in creating as the world’s largest per capita emitter of greenhouse gases. Now, it is up to States and cities in the U.S. to take aggressive action on climate, as many of them have already been doing.” Basav Sen, Climate Policy Director, Institute for Policy Studies

 

“The Trump Administration may be out, but we are all in. We are extremely concerned that our nation is not making a National commitment to adhere and preferably exceed the tenets of the Paris Agreement. The NAACP at our local, state and federal levels are working in alignment with the Paris Agreement, 80%reduction in coal, Indiana's energy currently is 80% coal. We want to transition to healthy and sustainable systems such as renewable Energy.  We need rampant movement towards reducing the global temperature below 2 degrees celsius as to avoid global catastrophe. “ Denise Abdul-Rahman, NAACP(Indiana), Environmental & Climate Justice Chair

 

“This move is nothing more than a vengeful act to erase President Obama’s legacy. Pulling out of the Paris Agreement makes no sense diplomatically, strategically, or substantively. The Trump administration is running away from one of the most critical negotiations in the global community, and other countries won’t be quick to forget this. U.S. momentum to move away from fossil fuels may have hit a speed bump today, but tomorrow the rest of the world will step right back on the accelerator towards a cleaner, brighter future, leaving the U.S. behind in a cloud of fossil fueled pollution.” David Turnbull, Campaigns Director, Oil Change International and Board Chair, US Climate Action Network

 

"Now more than ever we need to support State and local actions in support of the Paris Agreement. The lack of leadership from the Whitehouse is disappointing, but that will not stop the global momentum to address the most important issue of our time." Geoff York, Senior Director of Conservation, Polar Bears International

 

“For the young people facing a future ravaged by heat waves, famines, superstorms, and increased global conflict, the Paris Agreement is the culmination of negotiations that have been going on for longer than many of our lifetimes. And although it doesn't go nearly far enough, it is currently our best shot at a global effort to protect a livable planet for our generation and those that will come after us. Backing out of Paris, instead of moving forward to establish the US as the visionary climate leader the world needs, is a direct attack on young people. It is clear that our generation's future matters less than fossil fuel profits to short-sighted individuals like Donald Trump and Scott Pruitt, who won't have to live with the long-lasting consequences of their actions. Today, it is more clear than ever: Donald Trump is not fighting for America's future, does not have the American people's best interest at heart, and is unfit to lead this country.” Lydia D. Avila, Executive Director, Power Shift Network

 

“Protect Our Winters is deeply disappointed in the Trump administration’s decision to pull out of the Paris Agreement. From gutting our nation’s climate protections to bailing on the commitment the U.S. made to the international community to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, our executive branch is neglecting the need to move to a low carbon economy for a stable climate,” said Executive Director Chris Steinkamp.” Chris Steinkamp, Executive Director, Protect Our Winters

 

“ Refugees International is dismayed and deeply alarmed by the Trump administration’s decision to pull out of international efforts to tackle climate change, which presents significant threats to global stability and human security. More extreme weather and other adverse effects of climate change are already displacing growing numbers of people, undermining food security, and exacerbating conflict in the poorest and most fragile regions of the globe. Failure to keep our commitments under the Paris agreement to prevent dangerous levels of warming, and to contribute funds to help the most vulnerable and least developed countries to adapt and build resilience to its unavoidable impacts, means condemning our children and future generations to a warmer, less stable, world; a world with more extreme weather, more hunger, more poverty, more conflict, and more humanitarian crises. “ Alice Thomas, Climate Displacement Program Manager, Refugees International

 

"Donald Trump has made a historic mistake which our grandchildren will look back on with stunned dismay at how a world leader could be so divorced from reality and morality. Trump has abandoned the standard of American leadership, turned his back on the what the public and the market demand, and shamelessly disregarded the safety of our families just to let the fossil fuel industry eke out a few more dollars in profits. This is a decision that will cede America’s role internationally to nations like China and India, which will benefit handsomely from embracing the booming clean energy economy while Trump seeks to drive our country back into the 19th century." Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club

 

“When justice prevails, history will remember Donald Trump and the 22 senators who backed this decision as greedy and cynical men who gambled with the lives of billions. If they think this is their path to reelection, they’re sorely mistaken. Today marks the beginning of an unstoppable youth movement that will place climate change on top of the political agenda in 2018 and 2020.” Varshini Prakash, Co-founder and Spokesperson, Sunrise

 

"World leaders quarreled my entire life to piece together the Paris Agreement. And we knew it was far from enough, especially young people. Our futures and our communities are being destabilized and erased by climate change. We didn't cause this problem yet still, we rise to the occasion to make our grievances heard - from the courtrooms to the streets and to the UN climate talks. Ensuring a just and stable planet, that's the only choice we have." Dineen O'Rourke, COP23 Delegation Leader, SustainUS

 

“President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate accord is a misguided step back from the kind of leadership the world expects from America. By deliberately undermining the global effort to address climate change, President Trump just did the most counterproductive thing possible for our shared wild lands. Climate change is the single greatest long-term threat to our parks and wild places. Government agencies responsible for maintaining the grandeur of our natural heritage for the next generation are being stripped of vital resources and—even more disturbing—the will necessary to tackle the uncertain future caused by a changing climate. Today’s decision adds to the list of actions that put fossil energy development ahead of all other public lands users." Jamie Williams, President, The Wilderness Society

 

“The US climate movement is a people's movement. It is led by indigenous peoples, immigrants, grassroots organizers, people of color, refugees, unions, and workers. It is a women's rights movement, and we are more determined than ever to fight the tides from pulling us backwards.” Bridget Burns, Co-Director, the Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO)

 

"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)

 

"President Trump's withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement is deeply short-sighted and profoundly immoral. Not only will it hamper American innovation and economic growth, it is a resounding rejection of the moral imperative of the faith that he professes: namely to love God and our most vulnerable neighbors by acting to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Young evangelicals in the U.S. overwhelmingly support the Paris Agreement and comprehensive climate action. He and other political leaders ignore us at their own peril." Kyle Meyaard-Schaap, National Organizer and Spokesperson, Young Evangelicals for Climate Action

 

For quotes from our international colleagues who are part of Climate Action Network-International, please go here:  http://www.climatenetwork.org/press-release/can-reaction-trump-announcement-paris-agreement

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