Statement by Mary Robinson on the Announcement by President Trump to Exit the Paris Agreement
It is unconscionable that one of the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitters would simply walk away from its responsibility to people both at home and abroad, in the interest of short term fossil fuel profits. It is truly shocking that the United States, once proud to have been a leader on multilateral issues, has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement which was negotiated by over 190 world leaders, over decades, in the interests of all people and the planet.
The Agreement is not something that can be renegotiated in the interests of one country – especially not when that country bears the greatest historical responsibility for global greenhouse gas emissions.
The myopic action of the US Administration will have severe repercussions on the rights of US citizens and even more so on people in developing countries who are less resilient. In the US as elsewhere, the injustice of climate change means the most vulnerable people in society – the poor, the young, the elderly, the unemployed and the marginalised – are most affected by climate impacts such as severe flooding and prolonged drought.
Multilateralism and collaborative action is the only way to combat climate change. No one country can go it alone – as each country is vulnerable and affected by the actions and inactions of others. We are bound together as a global family living on a shared planet; in order to thrive we have to respect each other and respect our planet. Fortunately there are many in the US, at state level, in business, civil society, philanthropy and the universities who will work hard on climate action to try to compensate for the shameful failure of their government.
The other governments with the resolve to honour the vision of the Paris Climate Agreement will build a legacy to be proud of – a world powered by renewable energy which lifts millions out of poverty thus creating a truly sustainable future for all.