Statement of Lisa Pohlmann, Executive Director, Natural Resources Council of Maine
“President Trump’s announcement that he will remove the United States from the historic and vital Global Climate Agreement is a devastating blow that could jeopardize global efforts to avert the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.
“Pulling out of this agreement puts the U.S. on the wrong side of history and against the rest of the world. It is a colossal mistake that stains our nation’s leadership, reputation, and status among global powers. This is terrible news for our environment, and it hurts American workers and businesses as we lose economic opportunities to other nations in the global clean energy economy. Here in Maine it would also create big problems for Maine people, businesses, and our environment.
“Business and political leaders from around the world worked to persuade the President to keep the U.S. in the agreement, but Trump sided instead with a narrow, extremist slice of the fossil fuel industry that rejects climate science.
“The head of Exxon Mobil even told President Trump that the Climate Agreement is ‘an effective framework for addressing the risks of climate change.’ That tells us how outside the mainstream the President’s decision really is. We’ll now be with Nicaragua and Syria, the only countries in the world not part of the Paris agreement, in addition to Nicaragua, which declined to join because the agreement is too weak. This is a shameful act of isolationism.
“The science is clear: the Earth is warming due to the combustion of fossil fuels, and the only path to avert widespread impacts is one that embraces actions like those in the Paris agreement.
“Maine is especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, where our environment and economy are so closely linked. Rising sea levels will flood our coastal towns, smog from upwind states will make asthma sufferers sick; fast-warming waters in the Gulf of Maine will threaten our commercial fisheries; and warming weather endangers some of Maine’s most iconic economic sectors, like skiing, maple syrup production, and ocean fisheries.
“While we condemn President Trump’s action today, we thank Senators Collins and King, and Congresswoman Pingree, for their support of the Global Climate Agreement and work towards solutions that address climate change. Now it is time to redouble efforts and ensure America does its part to help prevent the worst of severe climate change. If we fail to act decisively, what will we tell the children?”
Major US companies:
Major companies across the U.S. economy sent a letter to the President saying that continued U.S. participation in the agreement would help them manage rising climate risks and compete in growing global clean energy markets.
Signers include BP, DuPont, General Mills, Google, Intel, Microsoft, National Grid, Novartis Corporation, PG&E, Schneider Electric, Shell, Unilever and Walmart. The letter states: “By committing all countries to action, the agreement expands markets for innovative clean technologies, generating jobs and economic growth. U.S. companies are well positioned to lead, and lack of U.S. participation could put their access to these growing markets at risk.’’
These Fortune 500 companies are among the top U.S. retail, tech, power, energy, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and consumer goods companies, with a combined market capitalization of nearly $2.5 trillion.
All of the leaders of the G7 nations urged President Trump to keep the U.S. in the Paris Climate Agreement, as did Pope Francis.