President Trump made the announcement that most were expecting, that the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, a move that will weaken efforts to combat global warming and increase the U.S.’ isolation from its allies – and indeed the rest of the world.
The President in his remarks said that the 2015 pacts imposed wildly unfair environmental standards on American businesses and workers.
“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” he said.
California leaders were quick to respond to the news, which will take four years to complete the withdrawal – putting the issue at the forefront of the 2020 election.
Governor Brown has taken leadership on this issue. He said, “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.”
Building on the global momentum to combat climate change and continuing California’s leading role in broadening collaboration among subnational leaders, Governor Brown will travel to China Friday to strengthen California’s long-standing climate, clean energy and economic ties with the nation. The governor will also attend the 2017 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany, to represent subnational jurisdictions that remain committed to climate action.
Congressman John Garamendi, who represents Davis and much of Yolo County, issued a statement saying he was “sad, very sad.
“In the face of overwhelming scientific evidence, President Trump pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord and turned his back on 195 countries that have committed to do their part to reduce climate altering emissions,” the congressman stated.
“Unfortunately, the President ignores the many costs of climate change, such as the threat to food production and the dangers coastal communities face with rising sea levels. Most importantly, Trump ignores the economic benefits and jobs that are created in the green economy of today and tomorrow. Sad indeed. However, the world and Trump should know that California, the world’s 6th biggest economy, will continue to lead in reducing greenhouse gasses,” he added.
Senator Kamala Harris stated, “We can all agree that all people should be able to breathe clean air and live in a safe and healthy environment. Pulling out of the Paris Agreement is an irrational decision that is a disastrous step backward, threatens the future viability of our planet for future generations, and abdicates our role of leadership.
“The United States has an obligation to combat this global threat to public health and safety here at home, and abroad. As this Administration retreats, I will continue to work to support California’s efforts to lead the fight against global climate change.”
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra released the following statement: “The earth is round, the sky is blue, and climate change is real. Today’s decision by President Trump to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Change Agreement sets forth his lasting legacy of endangering our planet’s health and future generations.
“In California, we’re already experiencing the cost of climate change. Severe droughts have cost our farmers billions of dollars in lost output; rising sea levels will threaten our coastal cities in coming decades; and record-high temperatures are increasing harmful ground-level ozone pollution, which can cause respiratory problems. Regardless of Washington’s inaction, California will continue to lead the way on protecting our planet. We will fight the Trump Administration tooth and nail anytime it tries to roll back our progress. The stakes are simply far too high.”
California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D–Los Angeles) said, “Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement confirms that Washington is retreating from being a global leader. Rather than stepping up to the existential challenge before us, Donald Trump is vacating the world stage at a time when American leadership is vital to the future of our planet and our children. He is proving he doesn’t have what it takes.
“California’s leadership is critical now more than ever. We are showing the way forward, and we’re sending a clear message to the rest of the world that no President, no matter how desperately they try to ignore reality, can halt our progress.
“The Senate just approved my measure, Senate Bill 100, which will put California on the path to 100% clean, renewable energy by 2045. It will completely eliminate fracking and fossil fuels from our electricity mix by 2045.
“California already has some of the most ambitious climate targets in the world, and our economy dwarfs all but a handful of nations. This is our chance not just to lead the world in fighting climate change and cleaning the air we breathe, but to strengthen our middle class for decades to come with quality clean energy jobs that can support families and lift communities across our state.
“This is how we win the future, and – whether Donald Trump, Scott Pruitt, or Rick Perry like it or not – this is how we keep America’s economy growing and thriving.”
In a letter from 27 California Senators, including Bill Dodd (Napa) and Richard Pan (Sacramento), to Governor Brown:
Dear Governor Brown:
We write to urge a call to action following today’s announcement by the Trump Administration that the United States is withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord. This unilateral and short-sighted decision is a severe blow to efforts across the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and ends our nation’s longstanding role as a global leader on climate change.
Given the United States’ abdication of climate leadership, it is now time for California to lead with our technologies and our innovative policies. Towards this end, we encourage you to consider convening a Climate Summit, partner with Mexico and Canada, and invite like-minded states and subnationals from around the world, to ensure that we continue to charge ahead without forfeiting all of our historic progress to date.
At Paris COP 21 in 2015, it was revealed how damaging today’s action will be – the collective failure to address climate change will result in ice sheets melting faster, seas rising higher, and the triggering of more extreme weather events such as flooding and massive wildfires that we have already seen here in California and throughout the world.
The Trump Administration’s rejection of the Paris Climate Accord also places us in the dubious company of being one of only three nations who are non-participants in the historic treaty, the other two being Syria and Nicaragua.
Climatologists tell us the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord will significantly worsen global warming, and could lead to our planet surpassing the tipping point for dangerous global temperatures worldwide. Scientists also warn us that the U.S. withdrawal could result in emissions of up to 3 billion tons of additional carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually.
With your leadership, California has set its own legally enforceable targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as adopted the most ambitious clean energy, transportation electrification, and energy efficiency targets in the world under the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015 (SB 350, Ch. 547, Statutes of 2015). This year, we are aggressively working to establish a 100% renewable and zero carbon energy standard through SB 100 (De León), and the Senate recently passed our Preserve California bill package-SB 49 (De León-Stern) to ensure that any federal standards rolled back under the Trump Administration remain enforceable under California law, SB 50 (Allen) the Public Lands Protection Act, and SB 51 (Jackson) the Whistleblower and Public Data Protection Act.
Climate change is the most serious existential threat facing the planet, and it is more important now than ever for nation-states like California to forge ahead. Our state has demonstrated that decoupling its economy from carbon pollution can be accomplished while boosting economic growth and job creation. California is now the sixth largest economy in the world following the enactment of landmark laws to reduce climate pollution. The evidence is clear and unequivocal – we can concurrently grow our economy and phase out harmful pollutants that cause global warming.
We appreciate your consideration of this request, and look forward to our continued partnership on this vital issue. If you would like further discussion, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.