President Donald Trump announced his intention to renege on the United States’s historic commitment to join 195 nations in a responsible global agreement to limit greenhouse gases.
The Paris Climate Accord was agreed to in December 2015 by nearly all of the world’s nations. Today’s withdrawal removes the United States from the vast majority of nations who want to fight global climate disruption, and puts us in league with the only two nations that have not signed on: Syria and Nicaragua.
President Trump’s short-sighted decision carries colossal negative environmental, economic, diplomatic, and public health consequences.
In response to the President’s announcement, the Arkansas Sierra Club issued the following statement from its director, Glen Hooks:
“The leader of the free world has utterly abdicated his responsibility to care for that world. By abandoning our country’s solemn commitment to nearly 200 nations, President Trump has severely weakened our international credibility while also greatly threatening our environment, health, and economy. Trump has unilaterally surrendered the standard of American leadership on climate to stand with Syria and Nicaragua as the only nations that aren’t part of the Paris Climate Accord.
“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. Surrendering clean energy markets to India and China means that U.S. families are missing out on jobs and growth.
“The Paris climate agreement is going to move full speed ahead. Yesterday, the EU pledged to continue climate leadership via the Paris Agreement. Amid Trump’s campaign pledges to leave Paris, other nations including India, China, the EU, Japan, Saudi Arabia, the Least Developed Countries, the High Ambition Coalition and others have all reconfirmed their commitment to continue to take aggressive climate action under the Agreement. That train is leaving the station, and Donald Trump is ensuring that the United States is left behind.”
“Right here in Arkansas, we are experiencing a clean energy boom as more and more Arkansas solar energy facilities come online while we also invest in enormous amounts of wind energy. Communities like Benton, North Little Rock, Camden, Stuttgart, and others know that clean energy makes economic and environmental sense. Even our state’s largest coal-burning utilities, like Entergy and the Arkansas Electric Cooperatives, are relying more upon clean energy and less upon dirty fossil fuels. President Trump should embrace the clean energy boom—not be an obstacle.”
“The Sierra Club calls on President Trump to join the international community in recognizing that man-made global climate disruption is happening, and that the United States should be a leader in stopping it. Mr. President, the entire world is watching you walk away from our nation’s commitments. It’s not too late to reverse this colossally harmful decision.”