WWF-New Zealand has written to the Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett and senior officials in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Ministry for the Environment, urging them to use diplomacy to encourage the United States of America to remain in the Paris Agreement, the global treaty on climate change.
It is anticipated that the US government will decide whether to stay in or leave the Paris Agreement sometime within the next week. On the campaign trail, US President Donald Trump had pledged to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. However, senior members of his Administration have urged him to keep the US in the Agreement.
In response, WWF-New Zealand Campaigner David Tong said “While it’s not perfect, the Paris Agreement is a crucial global structure for the work being done worldwide to confront climate change and move to a new, 100% renewable, clean energy economy. I was in the room in December 2015 when it was agreed, and it was a truly historical moment.
“Paris marked the moment that the switch to a 100% renewable economy became 100% unstoppable, not just 100% possible. The tide has turned, and it’s bigger than any one country.
“If the US decides to stay in the Paris Agreement, that will be good for US businesses, people, and communities – not just our climate. More American people already work in renewable energy jobs than in fossil fuel jobs.”
“New Zealand has been closely diplomatically aligned with the US in the climate negotiations. Both countries are part of the ‘Umbrella Group’ negotiating bloc. WWF-New Zealand encourages our government to use those diplomatic ties to call on the US to stay in the Paris Agreement.”
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature, by conserving the world’s biological diversity, ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable, and promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption.