PennFuture Statement on Paris Climate Agreement Withdrawal

June 1, 2017; PITTSBURGH, Pa. – PennFuture Executive Vice President and COO Jacquelyn Bonomo said Thursday the president made a mistake in naming the people of Pittsburgh as a reason to withdraw from the historical Paris Climate Agreement, one in which the United States played a key role in leading under the Obama administration in 2015.

“The people of Pennsylvania, specifically Pittsburghers, will not be used as pawns in President Donald Trump’s ploy for dirty energy worldwide. The United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement is an embarrassment to a country that once represented a leading voice in clean, renewable energy on a global scale. While this announcement is devastating, leaders across the country have already voiced with great verve their ability and determination to stay in line with the agreement, and to continue to push forward the advancements that drive a clean energy economy,” Bonomo said.

The goals of the Accord are to reduce greenhouse emissions, help countries adapt to wrenching changes brought about by a warming climate and finance projects in developing nations that repair damage wrought by climate change. The explicit goal is for all nations to work together to hold global average temperature increases to well below 3.6 °F (2 °C) above pre-industrial levels in an effort to avoid the vast damages caused by dangerous climate change. 

“The only reason the president would make such a drastic, catastrophic decision is simple: he puts profits of dirty energy companies over people.  We’ve seen this on a consistent basis. The science is clear and the facts are black and white. Climate change affects all nations, and it is an immense disappointment that the president would make the choice to withdraw from an earth-saving agreement.” Bonomo said.

Pennsylvania already has 66,000 people working in clean energy industries – more than those employed in the coal and gas industries combined. With the right mix of state policies, including strengthening our renewable energy and energy efficiency standards, giving renewable energy full access to the electricity grid, and fairly paying homeowners for the excess power they generate from rooftop solar power plants, we could significantly increase the jobs and the economic impact of clean energy. 

“President Trump ultimately will be the one left behind as he is outnumbered by progressive leaders nationwide who will continue to fight for what is right and just for the earth, and for the people who live here.” Bonomo said.

PennFuture is leading the transition to a clean energy economy in Pennsylvania and beyond. We are protecting our air, water and land, and empowering citizens to build sustainable communities for future generations. For more information, visit www.pennfuture.org.

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Contact: Stephanie Rex                     
Director of Communications
Cell: 412.463.2942