Monday, June 5, 2017

Observations on Trump and the Paris Climate Accord

Last week, the following views were shared on the Paris Climate Accord:
  • U.S. President Donald Trump -  “My obligation is to the American People. The Paris Accord would undermine our economy, hamstring our workers, weaken our sovereignty, impose unacceptable legal risks, & put us at a permanent economic disadvantage to the other countries of the world.”
  • White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus  – “Promise kept. @POTUS exits flawed #ParisAccord to seek better deal for U.S. workers & economy. This WH will always put #AmericaFirst.”
  • U.S Vice President Mike Pence‏ - “Our President is choosing to put American jobs, American consumers, American energy, and American industry first.”
  • U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (Kentucky) -  “I applaud President Trump and his administration for dealing yet another significant blow to the Obama administration’s assault on domestic energy production and jobs”.
  • From a joint statement by AdobeAppleBlue Cross Blue Shield of MassachusettsDanfossDigital HealthFacebookGap Inc.. GoogleThe HartfordHewlett-Packard EnterpriseIngersoll RandIntel Corp.Johnson ControlsLevi Strauss & CompanyMars IncorporatedMicrosoftMorgan StanleyNational GridPG&E Corp.Royal DSM,  SalesforceSchneider ElectricTiffany and CompanyUnileverVF Corp. - "Continued U.S. participation in the agreement benefits U.S. businesses and the U.S. economy in many ways ....As other countries invest in advanced technologies and move forward with the Paris Agreement, we believe the United States can best exercise global leadership and advance U.S. interest by remaining a full partner in this vital global effort." 
  • Over 175 U.S city mayors representing + 50 million Americans "will adopt, honor, and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement. We will intensify efforts to meet each of our cities’ current climate goals, push for new action to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target, and work together to create a 21st century clean energy economy."
  • California Governor Jerry Brown - "Donald Trump has absolutely chosen the wrong course. He's wrong on the facts. America's economy is boosted by following the Paris Agreement. He's wrong on the science. Totally wrong. California will resist this misguided and insane course of action. Trump is AWOL but California is on the field, ready for battle."
  • Michael Bloomberg - "Americans will honor and fulfill the Paris Agreement by leading from the bottom up - and there isn't anything Washington can do to stop us."
  • Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk – “Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.”
  • General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt – “Disappointed with today’s decision on the Paris Agreement. Climate change is real. Industry must now lead and not depend on government.”
  • Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein  - “Today's decision is a setback for the environment and for the U.S.'s leadership position in the world.”
  • Disney CEO Robert Iger - "As a matter of principle, I've resigned from the President's Council over the #ParisAgreement withdrawal.”
  • Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - “We are deeply disappointed that the United States federal government has decided to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Canada is unwavering in our commitment to fight climate change and support clean economic growth. Canadians know we need to take decisive and collective action to tackle the many harsh realities of our changing climate."
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel - “I am so moved and enthused that so many states and enterprises in the United States of America want to travel this path with us,” she said. “We will travel it together.”
  • Former U.S. President Barack Obama - “... in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got.”
  • European Union Council President Donald Tusk - "We are convinced that yesterday's decision by the United States to leave the Paris agreement is a big mistake.”
  • Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo – “[Trump is] not up to the level of what one would expect from a president of a great nation that we love .. [he is] a representative of a world gone by, a world that is looking back in the rear view mirror and does not see what is happening today."
  • Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces - “The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), along with Pope Francis and the entire Catholic Church, have consistently upheld the Paris agreement as an important international mechanism to promote environmental stewardship and encourage climate change mitigation. The President’s decision not to honor the U.S. commitment to the Paris agreement is deeply troubling.”
  • American Civil Liberties Union – “Pulling out of the Paris Agreement would be a massive step back for racial justice, and an assault on communities of color across the U.S. Drought, hurricanes and flooding will impact every American - but climate change doesn't affect us all equally. Black and brown people are more likely to live near coal plants, and have higher asthma rates than white Americans do. That disparity is only going to worsen in coming years, and it's why we must #ActOnClimate if we're serious about racial justice.”

MY TAKE
  • The Paris Climate Accord was signed by 196 countries in 2015 and is an evolving framework of provisions to address climate change.
  • As Trump plays to his base supporters, U.S. states and cities will likely increase their influence on U.S. environmental policy and perhaps other policy matters as well. 
  • Note: Syria and Nicaragua are the only other countries not signed on to the Accord.

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