Press Release | June 1, 2017

SELC on the United States’ Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Deal

Charlottesville, VA – President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord signals deep denial both on the reality of climate change and on America’s growing clean-energy economy.

The United States joins only two other nations that will not agree to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that raise the global temperature and threaten to inundate historic Southern cities. Syria and Nicaragua are the other dissenters.

The Southern Environmental Law Center today released this statement:

“It looks like the anti-science forces in the Trump Administration still have the President’s ear, but bailing on the Paris Agreement is nothing more than a climate-denial stunt,” said Frank Rambo, leader of the Clean Energy and Air Program at SELC.  “There are more Southerners working in solar energy now than there are miners digging coal. The President’s skewed views are a short-term setback for the thousands of renewable-energy workers supporting their families, but they can’t derail this nation’s energy future.”

The Paris Agreement establishes a framework for participating countries to commit to reducing the amounts of temperature-raising carbon dioxide they send into the atmosphere. Although a Trump Administration snub would not stop the transformation of our energy economy, it could make that transformation more difficult to achieve. The reasons the Paris Agreement exists in the first place especially can be felt along our coastal Southern states.

Just 50 years ago, Charleston averaged 14 days of “blue sky” or “sunny day” flooding a year. Now it’s 38 days. In three decades flooding will be expected 180 days annually. That’s half the year.

Norfolk has repeatedly made national news for the number of days salt water invades the city. Several studies have shown that Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s largest navy base, is in danger from rising water, as is Virginia’s spaceport at Wallops Island.

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