The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Alex Formuzis
(202) 667-6982

We're Number 1: U.S. Only Remaining Nation to Reject Climate Change Accord

Is this what Trump meant by winning?


Under President Trump's leadership, the U.S. has attained a unique - and shameful - distinction: the only nation on Earth to reject the Paris agreement on climate change.

At the opening of the latest round of United Nations climate talks in Bonn, Germany, a delegate from Syria announced that the nation will ratify the agreement, according to The New York Times, leaving the U.S. as the last holdout against the pact to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Trump announced this summer that the U.S. will pull out, calling the agreement bad for the economy. The administration says it wants to renegotiate the pact on more favorable terms, but it has not yet specified what that means.

"Apparently this is what Trump meant when he promised that under his administration Americans would get tired of so much winning," said EWG President Ken Cook. "We've slipped to second place in carbon dioxide pollution, behind China, but if Energy Secretary Rick Perry's scheme goes through to force utility customers to pay above-market rates for electricity from dirty coal plants, we could close the gap."

The Times previously reported that at the climate talks the U.S. will promote so-called "clean" coal - which doesn't exist - and nuclear power as ways to tackle global warming. The policy is in stark contrast to an authoritative report issued last week by 13 federal agencies, concluding that carbon dioxide emissions from human activity are the only convincing cause of climate change.

"It's almost impossible to pick the most embarrassing action by President Trump since he took office: There are simply too many choose from," said Cook. "But his decision to pull the U.S. out of the climate pact is certainly near the top. A year ago, the country was leading the effort to combat climate change, but now with Trump in charge, we're the only nation on the planet fleeing from the fight. Even China is aggressively battling its longstanding addiction to coal and moving toward cleaner, cost-effective alternatives."

"It's simply crazy that the Trump administration is trying to keep the dying coal industry on life support when solar and wind power are providing more and more clean, less expensive electricity all the time," Cook added. "It's a blatant political payback to the coal companies that gave hundreds of millions of dollars to Trump's campaign. But in the long run it won't work: The competition for America's energy future is over and renewables have won."

The Environmental Working Group is a community 30 million strong, working to protect our environmental health by changing industry standards.

(202) 667-6982