WWF responds to Trump's rollback on climate action

Thursday, 30 March, 2017

WWF has expressed its disappointment at the US Government’s decision to roll back components of its commitments under the Paris Agreement, but remains confident that the rest of the world’s transition to renewable energy will continue.

The rollback includes steps to dismantle the Clean Power Plan, a key component of the US’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In response, WWF’s global climate and energy practice leader, Manuel-Pulgar Vidal, said, “Hampering the US’s ability to deliver on its international climate commitments will impact the world’s climate trajectory, but it will not define its outcome.

“The speed and scale of meeting the climate challenge has always required global solutions from all parts of the international community. It is up to all of us to reaffirm our commitment for a clean energy future and to deliver on the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

According to WWF-New Zealand Campaigner David Tong, this commitment is currently stronger than ever. He said, “When I was at the UN climate talks in Marrakesh last November, in the week Trump was elected, I saw unwavering commitment to the Paris Agreement spanning all continents. No other country tried to use Trump’s climate policy as an excuse to water down their commitments. Instead, governments from China to Europe recommitted to implementing the Paris Agreement.”

WWF-New Zealand is now using Trump’s actions to grow support for a bipartisan commitment to climate action, last year delivering an open letter signed by prominent New Zealand businesses, community organisations and citizens calling for climate action. “Since then,” he said, “over a thousand Kiwis have added their voices to the call.”

So if the rest of the world bands together against climate change, exactly who will be most negatively affected most by Trump’s actions? According to Carter Roberts, president and CEO of World Wildlife Fund-US, it will be Americans themselves.

“Rolling back US commitments to cut carbon pollution not only harms the futures of our children and grandchildren, it undercuts our ability to compete in the massive growth in demand for renewable energy around the world,” he said.

“This decision is at odds with the sweeping actions already being taken by companies, states, cities and communities across America, who are creating a future powered by clean energy, and who must now pick up the mantle of US climate leadership without the support of our federal government.

“We strongly urge President Trump and his administration to develop a clear and effective plan to meet our international commitments and safeguard our economy. We urge them to protect the American people and our communities as required under the Clean Air Act.”

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