Today, the NW Energy Coalition released the following statement on President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.
Benefits of leaving are illusory, costs of climate change are already being felt.
Seattle, Wa. — President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement is regrettable because climate change matters in the Northwest.According to peer-reviewed studies, the consequences of atmospheric warming include more numerous and intense forest fires; depleted salmon, orca, and shellfish populations; reduced snowpack; sea level rise; ocean acidification, shrinking glaciers; and increased risk of disease and illness for humans. These factors produce unfortunate economic and social consequences for people throughout our region as well.
The president counters that leaving the Paris Agreement will save millions of US jobs. But, the study he cites supporting his claim has been been largely debunked. Meanwhile, the energy efficiency and renewable energy sectors that would benefit under the Paris Agreement are among our most prolific job creators and are also driving down the cost of energy for customers.
That’s why, for the last decade, the Northwest has enjoyed a thriving economy even as we’ve been national leaders in implementing progressive energy policies that reduce pollution and carbon emissions and build the clean energy sector of our economy.
In short, the president’s action is based on a myth. Now, in the absence of leadership at the national level, it will be up to Northwest leaders and organizations like the NW Energy Coalition to continue working together to develop and implement policies that assure us of clean, reliable, and affordable energy and that also enable us to do our part in limiting the global effects of climate change.
At the same time, we must continue to demand that our representatives in Washington DC work to reverse the president’s decision and restore the United States to the leadership role it should occupy in addressing one of the world’s great shared challenges.