WASHINGTON (August 4, 2017)— Today the United States is expected to submit a letter to the UNFCCC restating its intent to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change. This letter has no formal legal function. Per the terms of the Paris Agreement, no Party can officially announce an intention to withdraw until November 4, 2019, and then can't leave the Agreement for another year afterwards.
Following is a statement from Andrew Steer, President and CEO of World Resources Institute:
“President Trump’s decision to leave the Paris climate deal – restated in today’s letter to the UN - will hurt U.S. economic opportunity today and the quality of life for American citizens tomorrow. The letter is a reminder that when it comes to climate, the US Administration is out-of-step with the majority of Americans and the rest of the world. Fortunately, many American states, cities and businesses, and the rest of the world, have made it clear that they are taking climate action regardless of what the White House does.
"The letter leaves open the possibility of ‘reengaging’ in the Paris Agreement. If the Trump Administration is serious about reengaging, a great place to start would be to cut taxes on labor and investment and replace the lost revenue with a fee on carbon emissions—a policy that has growing bipartisan support. This would increase jobs, boost clean technology and exports, and sharply reduce death and illness from air pollution.
“At this moment the U.S. is still a Party to the Paris Agreement. The U.S. could engage constructively in those negotiations on issues such as transparency. But a climate loner that is intent on withdrawing from the Paris Agreement will not be listened to if it aims to weaken or undermine the accord in any way.
“The recent G7 and G20 summit communiqués reaffirmed global commitment to implementing the Paris Agreement, with only the United States refusing to support international climate action. Initiatives like the NDC Partnership are further proof that countries are turning the Paris Agreement into a living reality.
“It should come as no surprise that other countries and the U.S. private sector have expressed disappointment at the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Agreement. The global shift to a low carbon economy will spur $23 trillion of investment in renewable energy by 2030. China, India, the EU and others are wasting no time in creating jobs and growing their economies on this pathway.
“Last year the U.S. solar industry created jobs 17 times faster than the overall economy; the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that wind-turbine technicians will be the fastest-growing occupation over the next ten years; and a recent report from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development found that mainstreaming measures to tackle climate change into economic policy will have a positive impact on economic growth over the medium and long term. The president has made big promises to Americans feeling economically and socially disadvantaged. If he is serious about delivering on those promises, he should heed these facts.”