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U.S. Withdrawal from Paris Agreement is Alarming and Short-sighted

Statement from The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy’s CEO and President Mark Tercek speaking from Washington D.C. said, “Today’s announcement that the U.S. government intends to pull out of the Paris Agreement is short-sighted. For decades, the U.S. has demonstrated leadership on international environmental issues from President Reagan’s efforts to create the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer through President Obama’s efforts to advance the Paris Agreement and drive it to enter into force.   That U.S. leadership has been essential to stimulate the necessary actions by all countries to solve these global challenges.  Universal action on climate change is the only path to a more secure, healthy and prosperous future.

“The Paris Agreement represents the most significant global signal that the world recognizes the urgency of taking action to protect our planet from the impacts of climate change. The Agreement puts each country in the driver’s seat to shape its own solutions. And, importantly, the Paris Agreement is designed to hold other countries accountable for what they commit to do. Addressing climate change presents opportunities for innovation in all facets of human life – in how we produce and use energy, design buildings and cities, and conserve and use land. New thinking, science and investment models in these areas can address climate threats while contributing to healthy lands and waters, safer communities and strong economies.

“Hundreds of U.S. companies – large and small – have declared their support for continuing U.S. leadership on climate change and the Paris Agreement.  These companies recognize that proactively addressing climate change will be a driver of innovation, economic growth and prosperity.  Indeed, the renewable energy sector in the United States now employs more workers than the fossil fuel industry, and the rate of job growth in the renewables sector is four times that of the rest of the U.S. economy.  Maintaining U.S. leadership on climate is good for jobs, growth and competitiveness.  State and local governments increasingly recognize these benefits and continue to support and invest in a clean energy future. Withdrawing from the Paris Agreement sends precisely the wrong signals to U.S. companies and places the United States at a competitive disadvantage.

“The Nature Conservancy firmly believes that strong and continued U.S. leadership is vital to the success of the Paris Agreement and addressing the challenge of climate change because the issue transcends borders and requires international cooperation to solve. We encourage the President and Congress to work with the business, environmental, public health and science communities, as well as state and local governments, to enhance our environmental safeguards, including the Paris Agreement, rather than back away from them, in order to deliver better environmental and economic outcomes for both people and nature.”

Country Director for The Nature Conservancy in Australia, Rich Gilmore, echoed Mark Tercek’s disappointment, adding that “President Trump’s decision won’t affect The Nature Conservancy’s strong ongoing action to combat climate change here in Australia such as our work with Indigenous Traditional Owners to change fire patterns in our tropical savannas, significantly contributing towards the achievement of Australia’s commitments under the Paris Agreement to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.