President Trump’s decision to remove the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement is a devastating blow to the nation and the planet, and could have dire consequences for the state of Maine.
Just 18 months ago, the U.S. provided critical leadership in securing support from 194 other nations to participate in this voluntary action plan to address the urgent threat of climate change. It is a shared problem that requires a collective response from all nations.
Now, President Trump is abdicating our country’s leadership position to side with a narrow group of extreme fossil fuel interests and climate deniers. Even ExxonMobil has called the Climate Agreement “an effective framework for addressing the risks of climate change.” Business and political leaders around the world tried to persuade the President to keep the U.S. in the Paris Agreement. Now that he has ignored them, several have quit his advisory council, like Tesla electric car CEO, Elon Musk. Meanwhile, the U.S. will be left on the sidelines as other nations reap the benefits of investments in a clean energy future.
Make no mistake: without participation by the U.S.—which produces 15% of the world’s climate pollution—we cannot meet the necessary targets to avoid severe, widespread damage to natural and human-made systems around the planet. And that means we are going to suffer here more than many places because of Maine’s vulnerability to climate change.
The President’s decision revealed a striking disregard for future generations and a complete dismissal of the threat of climate change. By opting to promote the cruel hoax that the nation’s economy can be built on coal mining jobs, he is doubling down on dirty, declining energy sources of the past at the expense of a clean energy future.
I am deeply dismayed by this decision, but NRCM will redouble our work at the local, state, and federal levels to make climate progress. We are inspired by the states, businesses, communities, and other nations who in the past 24 hours have reaffirmed their commitments to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals. We also appreciate Senator Collins, Senator King, and Congresswoman Pingree, who each publicly opposed Trump’s destructive move, and support continued action to combat climate change.
Thank you to all of you who support NRCM’s work so generously, and who communicate with our lawmakers. Please consider a donation today that will be put to immediate use for a cleaner energy future. Our children and grandchildren need us to act. President Trump’s decision is a travesty but, together, we will forge ahead for the sake of generations to come.
Lisa Pohlmann, NRCM Executive Director