US Withdrawal from Paris Agreement Triggers Renewed Call to Action

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United States President Donald Trump has announced his intent to withdraw the US from the historic Paris Agreement, the world’s first global plan to address climate change. This announcement is a call to action to national and local governments, businesses and people worldwide to step up their commitments to address climate change.

In response, WWF-New Zealand campaigner David Tong said:

“The Paris Agreement is a key component of the world’s toolkit for making the switch to a 100% renewable, zero carbon future. It’s bigger than any one country or government. And it’s not the only tool we have – cities, businesses and communities are acting now.

“Last November, over 60 New Zealand businesses, community organisations, and prominent Kiwis signed an open letter to Minister Paula Bennett, calling for New Zealand to take real climate action. Climate change is bigger than politics – it matters to everyone.

“So for us here in New Zealand, President Trump’s decision highlights the need for cross-party consensus on climate action beyond politics. We need a non-partisan climate commission, a long-term goal for 2050, and a plan to get there: the Zero Carbon Act.”

 WWF’s global Climate & Energy Practice Leader Manuel Pulgar-Vidal said: 

“The Paris Agreement is the world’s collective response to tackling climate change. But the transformative power of the Paris Agreement lies in the targets that it triggers, and nations must hold each other accountable for their promises.

“A race to the bottom when it comes to our efforts to cut carbon pollution benefits no one as climate change affects everyone.

“Cities, states, companies and the public in the US and around the world support climate action, and are already contributing to creating low-carbon economies from the bottom up.

“Fortunately, the Paris Agreement is bigger than any one nation or any one government. We can still achieve the promise of Paris, but we have no time to lose. Countries around the world must seize the opportunity to unleash this potential, invest in renewable energy that eliminates harmful carbon pollution, and build economies that are more resilient, inclusive and prosperous.”

Carter Roberts, president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund-US said: 

 “The Paris Agreement emerged as nations put aside politics to collectively reverse course on this threat to our way of life. The US helped lead that charge.

“Honouring our commitments and delivering on our promises have been hallmarks of US domestic and international policy. US environmental laws and regulations have served as models for such policies around the world.

“The Paris Agreement does more than tie nations together around a common vision. It creates a blueprint for cooperation, for political stability, and job creation. Our booming nation’s clean energy economy employs more than 3.3 million Americans – more than all the jobs in the fossil fuel industry combined. The players in the real American economy understand we don’t have to choose between economic prosperity and a safer future for our families and communities.

“From big retailers like Walmart to electric utilities like Pacific Gas & Electric to technology companies like Google and Apple, American businesses have been steadfast in their support for the Paris Agreement. Oil, gas and coal companies like Royal Dutch Shell, BP, ExxonMobil, and Peabody Coal have supported staying in the Paris Agreement, which makes today’s announcement all the more confounding.

“Pulling out of Paris would make it harder for our country, and the world, to reach a safer and more prosperous future. In a world made safer by agreements between nations, we urge the Trump Administration to reconsider, and stand with American businesses, mayors and governors supporting the Paris Agreement. This prioritizes the jobs and long-term stability America needs.”

Learn more about WWF at: http://www.wwf.org.nz

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Louisa is the Communications Manager for WWF-New Zealand (World Wide Fund for Nature). She has extensive experience in the areas of media, communications and public relations. Her pen, camera and sense of humour have led her to wonderful work locations throughout Australia, Canada, USA, Solomon Islands, Vietnam, Cambodia, New Zealand and Peru. She was raised on a sheep and cattle farm in Outback Australia. Her specialty sectors are the environment (forest/marine/species conservation and climate change), crisis communications (biosecurity, floods and cyclones), and agriculture (livestock and broad-acre farming). She is an Open Water-accredited diver and has explored underwater ecosystems in the Solomon Islands and Cambodia.

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