The Trump Administration announced Monday it is beginning the year-long process of withdrawal from the 2015 Paris climate accord, the landmark multi-national agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and slow global warming.
“Earth Innovation Institute denounces the decision. It takes us in the wrong direction,” said EII Executive Director Dan Nepstad. “As the world wakes up to the challenge of climate change, economic growth and jobs creation will be achieved best by the nations that are leading the way in decarbonizing their economies.”
Nepstad continued, “President Trump’s decision to ignore the science and withdraw from the Paris Accord will set the United States back economically as it makes it far more difficult to avoid catastrophic climate change.”
A report from the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank Group found that the Paris commitments would open up some $23 trillion in investment opportunities in developing nations through 2030. The U.S. economy, meanwhile, could shrink by as much as 10 percent if warming continues apace, according to the Fourth National Climate Assessment released in 2018.
Monday’s announcement came from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and marks a procedural move that will culminate in a complete U.S. withdrawal in 2020, precisely one day after the November elections. Should Trump lose the election, another U.S. administration could decide to rejoin the accord.
“As the signs of human-made climate change grow ever more severe, from fires in our own backyard in California to sea-level rise prompting Indonesia to relocate its capital, the world needs more cooperation to address the threats, not less,” said EII Chief Economist Jonah Busch.
There has been an increasing amount of global attention on tropical forests since the Paris agreement was first signed, with studies showing they could provide a quarter of near-term mitigation to reach the goal of the Paris Accord.
The U.S. withdrawal, noted Busch, “underscores the importance of climate action not just by national governments but by state and local governments around the world.”