Local 20/20’s Comments on Withdrawal from Paris Climate Accord

The Peninsula Daily News kindly asked Local 20/20 what our comments were regarding the President’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, and the published a nice article on local responses on Sunday here. Below is our full response.

Local 20/20, a Jefferson County-based organization focused on local sustainability and resiliency is appalled by Donald Trump’s action to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord. The impacts of climate change are becoming ever more obvious in the Pacific Northwest, with warmer temperatures, drier summers, reduced snowpack, and a more acidic ocean (from Climate Change Preparedness Plan for the North Olympic Peninsula, executive summary). And right here on the Olympic Peninsula, glaciers are disappearing at an alarming rate, from 266 in Olympic National Park in 1982 to 184 in 2009 (https://www.nps.gov/olym/ learn/nature/glaciers.htm).  At a time when we need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for impacts from climate change, Trump’s action moves us in the opposite direction. By withdrawing from the Paris Climate agreement, Trump is making the US a pariah and isolating us from the international community when global cooperation is needed most.

President Trump claimed that pulling out of the Paris accord would be good for the US economy. But former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and former NY City Mayor as Michael Bloomberg have concluded the opposite in their “Risky Business” report,  “…if we continue on our current path, many regions of the U.S. face the prospect of serious economic effects from climate change. However, if we choose a different path—if we act aggressively to both adapt to the changing climate and to mitigate future impacts by reducing carbon emissions—we can significantly reduce our exposure to the worst economic risks from climate change, and also demonstrate global leadership on climate” (page 3.) And it has been estimated that wind and solar energy provide five times more jobs than coal mines.

We applaud Governor Inslee for his intention to join in a multi-state U.S. Climate Alliance committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement. And we encourage all of Jefferson County to channel their frustration into action. There are a myriad of ways to work on climate action, from individual actions to local, state and national government actions. Contact Local 20/20, Olympic Climate Action, or any of the local environmental organizations across the Olympic peninsula to learn more.

 

 

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