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“Reckless and Irresponsible”: Progressive Congress Condemns the President’s Decision to Withdraw from the Historic, Vital Paris Climate Accord

 

Press Contact
Olivia Alperstein
olivia@progressivecongress.org

 

Washington, D.C.—At a White House press conference during the afternoon. In response, Progressive Congress released the following statement:

“Earlier today, President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord.  This reckless and irresponsible move is a sad appeal to climate deniers in his base, and the fossil fuel industry lobbyists. The rest of us, not just Americans but people around the world, will pay a heavy price for this decision. We have a very small window of opportunity to address some, though not all, of the devastating effects of climate change. Climate change is human-made, and it calls for a human-made solution.

“Progressive Congress is disappointed that the Trump administration has chosen to take a narrow view on the Paris Climate Accord,” said Dr. Gabriela Lemus, President of Progressive Congress. “By withdrawing, the administration ignores the very real crisis the planet is facing and the United States’ role in stopping it from deteriorating further.  he administration's focus on tax cuts for large carbon-emitting and oil-producing corporations and its neglect to consider the evolving economic force of green jobs is counter-productive if the administration indeed wishes to achieve a 3-4% growth in GDP. 

But most importantly, by reneging on the agreement, the administration places the American people, their cities, rural communities and coastal towns at risk from the ravaging damages that climate change creates, from incapacitating health challenges like asthma and toxin exposure to climate-related catastrophes like wild-fires, hurricanes and floods.  It will be up to the leaders in those communities to unilaterally figure out how to best mitigate the conditions affecting them day-to-day. They will now have to do so without any leadership from the White House or agencies tasked to support them like the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It's a sad day for all of us.” States all over the country- particularly those with coast lines, farms, fishing industries, and low-income and rural populations- will all pay the heavy price as we watch the devastating impact climate change will bring to our communities.

 It is striking that the only other countries that have not agreed to join this historic agreement are Syria and Nicaragua; that leaves 194 nations united in a historic agreement, while the United States, a global leader, sits on the sidelines.  President Trump recently completed a tour of foreign nations, where other world leaders sent him a loud and clear message about the U.S.’ role in international affairs and our responsibility for our actions on the world stage.

According to Reuters, France, Italy, and Germany together indicated in a statement that they “firmly” believe that the Paris Climate Accord cannot be renegotiated. There is no do-over. President Trump wants to negotiate a more “fair” deal; what can be fairer than the terms negotiated here, where countries who contribute significantly to climate change take responsibility for preventing the awful consequences and in return have a momentous opportunity to contribute to a healthier world while building a globally sustainable economy?

The United States has a great capacity to lead on this challenge. We could witness the boon of a green energy industry, with wind and solar providing millions of jobs, including for former coal and oil workers, while great minds devise creative, innovative solutions and bring them to the market. We could spark a whole new technology age in this country. Instead, we fiddle while Rome burns, and the reversal of our promise to other nations will create further irreversible damage to the world in which we claim to be a global power.”

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About Progressive Congress

Progressive Congress is a 501(c)3 organization that serves as the vital linkage between grassroots progressive activists and organizations and progressive champions in Congress. Progressive Congress helps shape the progressive agenda by turning innovative, forward-thinking ideas into action and amplifying and strengthening progressive messages on and off the Hill.