To limit warming and the “impact it causes,” says Professor Gabi Hegerl, of the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, “we need to limit the total amount of carbon added to the atmosphere. This can only be done if the world economies work together. If Paris is abandoned or weakened, I fear for the future of our children.”
Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi issued a statement shortly after reports of a possible withdrawal surfaced:
President Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Accord is a stunning abdication of American leadership and a grave threat to our planet’s future. In walking away from this agreement, the President is denying scientific truths, removing safeguards that protect our health and our environment, protecting polluters and their dirty energy agenda, and threatening our national and global security…
The majority of Americans in both parties know that climate change is real, and want clear, decisive action to arrest its dire effects. Democrats will continue to support the strong action of states, cities and the private sector to halt the march of climate change, no matter how destructive and short-sighted the decisions of this Administration continue to be.
The news also sparked fears in Europe, prompting a response from Parisian Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who chairs a group of 40 major cities and has worked to help city officials bolster their commitments to climate change policies.
“No matter what decision is made by the White House, cities are honouring their responsibilities to implement the Paris agreement. There is no alternative for the future of our planet,” she said.
Earlier this spring, Hidalgo discussed the “important role” mayors play in challenging policies detrimental to the environment.
“Donald Trump is not the one who’s going to decide whether he applies the Paris agreement or not. It’s the cities,” Hidalgo said at the time. “Big cities are responsible for 70% of greenhouse-gas emissions. We have a political responsibility, as mayors, to say, ‘We must act now.’ Because tomorrow it will be too late.”
Analysts warn that exiting the agreement could see carbon taxes and other “trade barriers” placed on U.S. exports in the future. President Trump plans to make an announcement today at 3 PM EST.