October 30, 2020

US Paris exit is a gift to Big Polluters at the continued expense of climate frontlines

BOSTON — Next week on November 4, the United States’ exit from the Paris Agreement will be final, following a year-long notification period.

Please see the statement below from Sriram Madhusoodanan, U.S. Climate Campaign Director at Corporate Accountability:

“The Paris Agreement is far from perfect — its commitments don’t add up; it is not legally binding; it embraces industry-driven false solutions; and it fails to hold countries and corporations that are most responsible for fueling the climate crisis accountable. But, it is the agreement that world leaders committed to implement in order to collaborate globally to address the climate crisis. On November 4, the U.S. government will officially walk away from it in shame.

But an exit, even if temporary, will not prevent the United States — which has long undermined global climate policy on behalf of Big Polluters — from meddling in the agreement’s implementation or in other UNFCCC processes and further stalling progress. In fact, over the last year, even after making its intentions to withdraw known, the U.S. under Trump has mercilessly dismantled and sabotaged the agreement. It has tried to ensure that the nations most impacted by the climate crisis, which have done the least to cause it, will not receive the financial support they are owed for climate damages, for untold suffering their people experience, or for the work they need to do now to adapt to the reality of climate change.

Exiting the agreement has remained incredibly unpopular in the polls. In fact, people in the U.S. continue to demand government action on climate change, all while the U.S. government instead carries out Big Polluters’ wishlists. The greatest benefactor of this move is the fossil fuel industry, which has leveraged the Trump administration’s atrocious positions on climate change to appear more reasonable even while lobbying to gut every environmental regulation they could get their hands on. But, the Trump administration cannot quiet the demands for a transition away from fossil fuels and toward a more just, equitable future. People, elected officials, communities and cities around the globe are standing up and demanding that those most responsible for the climate crisis be held accountable and liable. In this vacuum of federal leadership, communities, cities and states in the U.S. are taking matters into their own hands. They are holding the fossil fuel industry to account and leaders are calling for more ambitious and equitable action than ever before.

In history books, this move will be seen as just one of many embarrassments from this administration. It’s time the U.S. own up to its role as a major global emitter and take it on with the urgency and action it requires — the people are demanding it.”



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