On Thursday, June 1, President Trump announced his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, the historic international accord forged at the COP21 Climate Talks in 2015 and signed by 196 nations. The agreement pledged to limit global temperature rise to “well under” 2°C, with every nation submitting emissions reduction commitments – known as “Nationally Determined Contributions” – to meet that goal.
“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,” said Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy Executive Director Nicole Rom. “This brash, immoral action is out of step with the international community, which has demonstrated overwhelming support for moving the Paris Agreement from words to implementation as quickly as possible, and with American citizens, businesses, and local governments. Majorities of Americans in every state support U.S. participation in the Paris Agreement; over 200 investors representing $15 trillion in assets support continued implementation of the Paris Agreement and a low-carbon transition; and over 1,000 companies have signed on to an open letter urging President Trump to keep the U.S. in the Paris Agreement. Climate Generation was in Paris with a group of 10 Education Ambassadors during the negotiations leading up to the Agreement, 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 actors at all scales and in multiple sectors will continue to move the ball forward on climate change solutions. Local, state-level, and private-sector leaders on climate change are stepping up, and the transition to a clean energy economy continues to accelerate. What’s more, this transition is increasingly diverse, equitable, and community-led. An important counterpoint to the Trump administration’s misguided decision today is the growing momentum in the U.S. towards climate action at all scales, regardless of the federal government’s abdication of leadership on this issue. Indeed, that has only spurred further ambition among climate leaders here in Minnesota and around the country.”