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World to Trump: Don't Abandon the Paris Agreement

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Heads of state cheer after the Paris climate change agreement was signed at COP21 in 2015 by 197 parties. Wikipedia

The world is worried as Decision Day nears.


At a April 29 rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Trump said he would make a "big decision" on Paris within the next two weeks and vowed to end "a broken system of global plunder at American expense."

Now the Trump administration has a meeting scheduled Tuesday to decide whether to drop out of the Paris agreement.

During last year's campaign Trump called the Paris climate agreement, COP21, a "bad deal" for the U.S. and promised more oil drilling and to revive the fading coal industry. He's also called climate change a "hoax."

Trump's senior strategist Steve Bannon, White House counsel Don McGahn, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt and Attorney General Jeff Sessions are leading the climate deniers urging Trump to officially pull the U.S. from the accord. But, sources said, they are clashing with Sec. of State Rex Tillerson and First Daughter Ivanka Trump.

Trump's scorched-Earth approach to environmental protections has shocked current and former government officials overseas who are waiting nervously to see whether the U.S. will destabilize the agreement by pulling out of the deal, the Guardian reported.

• Izabella Teixeira, the former Brazilian environment minister: "Trump's actions on the climate are worrying. Although it is still too early to be sure what his strategy is for the U.S., the signs so far of backsliding are a concern to anyone who was involved in the long process that lead up to the Paris agreement. We certainly could not have imagined this political picture when we signed the agreement in Paris. It is a concern because we saw a similar situation when George W. Bush came to power and backed away from the Kyoto protocol."

• Erik Solheim, UN environment chief: "There is no doubt where the future is and that is what all the private sector companies have understood. The future is green. Obviously if you are not a party to the Paris agreement, you will lose out. And the main losers of course will be the people of the United States itself because all the interesting, fascinating new green jobs would go to China and to the other parts of the world that are investing heavily in this."

• Frank Bainimarama, the prime minister of Fiji: "Climate change is not a hoax. It is frighteningly real. Billions of people are losing the ability to feed themselves. Don't let the whole side down by leaving, just when we have a game plan."

• Hilda Heine, the president of the Marshall Islands: said she was "extremely disappointed to see the United States seeking to roll back its efforts to reduce emissions. My country's survival depends on every country delivering on the promises they made in Paris. Our own commitment to it will never waiver."

• Ramón Méndez, former head of Uruguay's climate policy: "I'm very worried by what is happening in the U.S. regarding climate change. It was an extraordinarily strong shock to hear that Trump has signed a decree to revise the clean power plan. Of all of Trump's policies, this is the one with the worst consequences for the world. If an important country like the U.S., which has the second biggest emissions after China, doesn't abide by the Paris agreement, then the Paris agreement is broken. It will make it harder for other countries to maintain their ambitions."

"If the U.S. pulls out, it will be a pariah," said Andrew Light, a climate adviser at the World Resources Institute. "It will be on the sidelines, and that's going to hurt American businesses."

Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.

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