Civil society strongly condemns Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. from the Paris Agreement

02 June 2017
Author :   Elias Ntungwe Ngalame
Members of the Civil Society in Paris : >> Image Credits by:Isaiah Esipisu

YAOUNDÉ, Cameroon (PAMACC News) - The decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement signals that the Trump Administration is in total discord with both reality and the rest of the world,a press release from Climate Action states.

Civil society actors have been reacting to news of the withdrawal and are unanimous that the first to suffer from the injudicious decision is the American people. "This action is totally contrary to their best interests: their health, security, food supply,  jobs and future," the release states.

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 a low-carbon economy and renewable energy jobs. None of this will make America great, in any way.

The overwhelming show of support from the international community in the past weeks, defending the Paris Accord, is a reminder that the world is wasting no time on laggards when it comes to climate action.

“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,” says 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, "  points out Wendel Trio, Director, Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe .

For  Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, Climate Action Network,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.”

“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," says Mohamed Adow, International Climate Lead, Christian Aid.

"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

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