Withdrawing From Paris Agreement Will Hurt U.S. Economy and Communities Around the World

Nov 5, 2019 10:25 AM ET
Campaign: We Are Still In

November 5, 2019 /3BL Media/ - The Trump administration formally set in motion its plans to officially withdraw from the Paris Agreement, a step that is in stark contrast to the interests of thousands of investors and companies that have called for the U.S. to remain in the landmark accord and one that puts the U.S. at a significant disadvantage as the only country in the world not participating in the global pact, said the sustainability nonprofit organization Ceres. 

The Trump administration first announced its intent to leave the Paris Agreement in 2017. Yesterday marked the first day that the U.S. could begin the formal process to leave the accord. 

The threat that climate change poses to Americans is even clearer today than it was two years ago. Global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are at an all-time high and continue to rise. Communities around the country are already feeling the impacts of a warming planet with an increase in devastating heat waves, wildfires, flooding and other extreme weather events.

Scientists warn that we must act now to limit average global temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, if we are to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Not doing so could add hundreds of billions of dollars in costs to the economy per year by the end of the century.

“U.S. investors and companies increasingly see climate change as a systemic financial risk that must be addressed with smart 
and strong policies. That’s why many major companies are already taking action to reduce GHG emissions in their own operations and across their supply chains. However, it will be far more challenging for these investors and companies to reduce major risks to their bottom lines if the U.S. does not have a seat at the table when it comes to global climate policy,” said Anne Kelly, Ceres vice president of government relations. 

Last week, the Ceres BICEP Network, a coalition of 55 major U.S. companies from a broad range of sectors and with a combined annual revenue of $619 billion, sent a letter to President Trump urging him to keep the U.S. in the Paris Agreement in order to ensure the U.S. remains a global leader on climate change while maintaining a strong economy.

Many of these companies are also members of the We Are Still In coalition, made up of 3,800 investors, companies, states, cities, tribes, businesses, investors, faith organizations, colleges and universities, and representing more than half of all Americans and $9 trillion of the U.S. economy—all calling for the U.S. to remain in the historic agreement.

“Remaining in the Paris Agreement is vital to keep the U.S. competitive and keep the economy thriving as the rest of the world transitions to a net-zero-carbon economy,” added Kelly. “By withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, the Trump administration is failing to protect the U.S. from the catastrophic impacts of climate change on our economy and vulnerable communities in the U.S. and around the world.”