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Trump’s rejection of Paris Agreement is a call to action and resolve for us all

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U.S. President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change puts the United States at odds not just with the international community, but with overwhelming scientific evidence and the publicly expressed wishes of hundreds of American companies, from Apple to Exxon.

Without the United States, the rest of the world will have a harder time meeting the Paris Agreement’s goal of preventing global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. And the United States will miss out on the creation of more jobs and economic growth as well as reduced business risks.

While we are deeply disappointed by this ill-informed decision, we are also heartened by the immediate response from other major countries determined to proceed with climate action. India, the European Union and China pledged to accelerate their efforts. Canada announced it will co-host a ministerial summit with China and the European Union in September to advance action on the Paris Agreement.

Even more importantly, new coalitions of states, cities and businesses within the United States have emerged in defiance of the president's decision.

Governors from California, New York and across the country declared they would work together to move ahead with climate action. Yesterday, 83 mayors signed a statement vowing to uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement.

And finally, U.S. businesses have expressed their frustration and disappointment with the decision, but also stressed that it would have little impact on their own ongoing efforts. Brad Smith, CEO of Microsoft, said this about the Paris Agreement: "A global framework strengthens competitiveness for American businesses. It creates new markets for innovative clean technologies, from green power to smart grids to cloud-enabled solutions."

At IISD we will continue to work across the world and in the United States at every level of government to help implement climate action. We echo the words of the 83 U.S. mayors who committed to adopting and upholding the Paris Climate Agreement goals:

“The world cannot wait—and neither will we.”

About the International Institute for Sustainable Development

Established in 1990, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is a non-partisan, charitable organization specializing in policy research and analysis, and information exchange. Through their head office in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and their branches in Ottawa, New York, and Geneva, the Institute champions sustainable development around the world through innovation, partnerships, research and communications. It is dedicated to engaging decision-makers in business, government, non-government organizations and academia on issues around economic and legal frameworks, energy and climate change, water, resilience, and knowledge.

For more information, please contact: Sumeep Bath at sbath@iisd.ca or +1 (204) 958 7700 ext. 740

IISD contributes to sustainable development by advancing policy recommendations on international trade and investment, economic policy, climate change and energy, natural and social capital, and the enabling role of communication technologies in these areas.