Donald Trump has announced that he will be pulling the United States out of the Paris Agreement. The agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) deals with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020. 190 countries signed on originally. The Paris Agreement was considered a major environmental success after being signed by both the Obam1a Administration as well as the leadership in China. During his campaign, Donald Trump promised to remove the U.S. from the accord. Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey SierraClub released the following statement:
“Donald Trump, by removing the US from the Paris Agreement is acting irresponsible and dangerous. He has sacrificed our environment and our economy to the Koch Brothers, Steve Bannon and the dirty energy companies. In withdrawing, Trump is looking at his short-term national political interests over the long-term safety and security of the United States. We are the only country out of 195 to withdraw. We are giving up our role as a national leader in world affairs. This bigly blunder could create permanent damage to our reputation and our planet.
“Our removal from the Paris Accords will not only hurt the environment, but the economy as well. Now places like China, Japan, and Germany will be getting jobs that Americans should have gotten. Despite his alternative facts, the data shows that there are vastly more jobs in renewable energy such as solar than there are in the fossil fuel industry. Trump is turning his back on the corporations and people of America that support the Paris Agreement. Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement will do considerable damage to the U.S.’s global standing and credibility in the world. Yesterday, the EU pledged to continue climate leadership via the Paris Agreement. Other countries will benefit from the booming clean energy economy while Trump seeks to drive our country back into the 19th century.
“Climate change is a threat to our safety too. We’re already seeing health impacts of climate change. such as more ozone days, increased Lyme disease, intense flu seasons and even the zika virus. Even the Department of Defense has named it a threat to our country’s security. They consider it a special threat because climate disruption will cause wars over sea level rise and other climate change issues. In Syria, one of the major contributing effects of the civil war was a long-term drought brought on by climate change. Many of our critical bases such Portsmouth and Pearl Harbor could go underwater.
“By denying climate change he is denying our environment, our economic growth, and our future. New Jersey suffers from sea level rise and climate impacts more than most states. Another Sandy event is seventeen times more likely to happen again. Places like the Meadowlands, Hoboken, and the Barrier Islands are already going under water. Our cities are inundated with air pollution and toxic sites that only get worse with the addition of more greenhouse gasses and refusal to deal with climate change. We’re going to be receiving the brunt of these consequences.
“The Trump Administration is doing everything in their power to promote dirty fuels and greenhouse gasses while cutting programs for wind and solar. Trump wants to slash the EPA budget by almost a third, the DOI’s budget by 11% and cut $5 billion from NOAA grants which will affect climate and resiliency projects. They’re eliminated climate programs across the board such as the Green Climate Fund and Global Climate Change Initiative. He’s cutting the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy by 70%. Trump is opening places like the Atlantic Ocean, the Arctic and even public lands for oil drilling. Programs that protect our coasts like the Coastal Water Quality Monitoring Program and Sea Grant program, have been shut down. He’s even cut programs that do research on green energy and transportation such as EV’s. States like New Jersey will no longer be receiving important funding for resiliency projects against sea level rise and storm events.
“What Donald Trump is doing is continuing his assault on climate protections because he cares more about corporate polluters than the people of the United States. He is writing Executive Orders behind closed doors that will increase air pollution in our lungs, exacerbating climate impacts for our communities, while threatening the economy. All of his actions will have serious consequences because they will lead to more air pollution in our lungs, increased public health impacts, while we see more flooding and devastation from severe storms and sea level rise. In 1919 in Paris the US failed to sign the Paris Agreement to end World War I. Our failure to lead then led to World War II. Now here we are a hundred years later, where the US is again failing to lead on an important global issue.
“People want action on climate change and will stand up nationwide to demand it and resist Trump’s actions. Hundreds of thousands of people showed up in Washington DC for the People’s Climate March and we need to continue with that momentum. For every terrible decision Trump makes, grassroots activists, frontline communities, local governments, and concerned people across the country are fighting to make sure clean energy continues to grow by leaps and bounds. We will have a grassroots movement to fight these actions. We will see local governments take the lead on promoting environmental regulations. Cities will move towards 100% renewable energy. States will implement programs to fight climate change. New Jersey will have a new Governor soon and we can rejoin RGGI and commit to 100% clean energy. The entire country is gearing up for resistance against Trump and his agenda. We’re going to keep fighting to Make Our Planet Great Again.”