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US NFU slams Trump administration's exit from Paris Climate Agreement

The US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement is "shameful", says National Farmers Union.

4 November 2020, at 1:21pm

The United States today formally exited the Paris Climate Agreement, three-and-a-half years after President Donald Trump pledged to do so, citing “lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories, and vastly diminished economic production.”

One hundred and eighty-nine countries have ratified the historic agreement so far, which aims to keep “a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.” That leaves just eight countries – including the United States – as outliers.

A strong advocate for climate action, National Farmers Union (NFU) expressed support for the deal when it was finalized at the end of 2015. Since then, the need for such an agreement has become even clearer, as catastrophic hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, floods, and other natural disasters have become more commonplace. As such, the group was displeased by President Trump’s decision to withdraw, a sentiment NFU President Rob Larew reiterated in a statement released today:

“It’s hard to explain just how disappointing and dangerous the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord is. Climate change is a global crisis, and it requires a united, global effort to address. The fact that one of the wealthiest and most powerful countries in the world is shirking its moral obligation to mitigate climate change is a slap in the face for nearly every other country that has agreed to the terms of the agreement.

“This decision not only undermines critical climate action and makes our planet more vulnerable to increasingly frequent and severe weather extremes, but it also comes at great cost to the American people. Many of the actions that would have helped the United States meet its goals under the agreement would have created thousands of new jobs, stimulated economic growth, and revitalised rural communities. As the nation struggles to recover from the pandemic, this is a particularly painful missed opportunity to regain jobs and support family-owned businesses.

“In addition to the economic and environmental consequences, by willfully rejecting science and turning our backs on the rest of the world, the United States is sacrificing its credibility and reputation as a global leader.

“The good news is that it isn’t too late to revoke this shameful mistake. Though there is still a great deal of uncertainty as to who will be leading our country in 2021, whomever it is, we urge them to immediately rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and recommit our nation to climate leadership.”