Udall Decries Trump’s Decision to Withdraw from Paris Climate Agreement

Jun 3, 2017

Credit U.S. Senator Tom Udall D-NM
  Commentary: U.S. Senator Tom Udall, a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations and Appropriations committees, responded to President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.

“Of all of President Trump’s reckless decisions, this could very well turn out to be the most dangerous because it affects global security and the economy for generations to come. By pulling out of the Paris Agreement, President Trump is choosing to isolate the United States from the world community on what scientists, many national security experts and world leaders agree is one of the greatest destabilizing forces of our time. New Mexico and the Southwest are at global warming's bull's-eye - and New Mexicans have been demanding action because they can see the impacts of global warming every day in the form of more droughts, increasingly severe wildfires, and rising temperatures. The last two years have been the planet's warmest on record - and month after month, we have been shattering temperature records.

“With this decision, President Trump is turning his back on the children of New Mexico and around the world who will be saddled with the public health, national security, and environmentally disastrous effects of rising temperatures and sea levels and increasing drought in arid places from New Mexico to the Horn of Africa in coming decades. He also is turning his back on our economic leadership, handing our competitors in Europe, China and India even greater freedom to dominate the clean energy economy of the future. Many of President Trump’s own national security and foreign policy advisers and the leaders of America’s biggest businesses— even including major fossil fuel companies— see that the United States can only lose economic standing and international respect by walking away.

“This is a global crisis that requires global action, and the urgency cannot be more real. The Paris Agreement was historic because of the international consensus that we all must work together to act on climate change. The president's decision sets off an extended process, and I am confident that it will be reversed sooner or later. Until then, it falls to states like New Mexico, local communities, businesses, and all of us to pull together and keep the United States doing our part to ward off the worst and most destructive impacts of climate change. President Trump's decision is an absolutely tragic mistake, but we will move forward with renewed purpose.”

Udall was among a group of 10 senators who attended the United Nations climate talks in Paris in 2015, where international negotiators reached the historic accord to join together to fight global warming by reducing carbon pollution. He joined a coalition of 147 senators and members of the U.S. House of Representatives in a letter to President Obama strongly supporting the global effort to fight climate change. Last week, he joined 37 other senators in urging President Trump to keep the United States a party to the Paris Climate Agreement.