UN Environment chief Erik Solheim released the following statement on the US decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change:
“The science on climate change is perfectly clear: we need more action, not less. This a global challenge. Every nation has a responsibility to act and to act now.
The US decision to leave Paris in no way brings an end to this unstoppable effort. China, India, the European Union and others are already showing strong leadership. 190 nations are showing strong determination to work with them to protect this and future generations.
There is incredible momentum on climate action from individual states, cities, the private sector and citizens. A single political decision will not derail this unparalleled effort. UN Environment urges all parties to redouble their efforts. We will work with everyone willing to make a difference.
Climate action is not a burden, but an unprecedented opportunity. A shift to renewable energy creates more jobs, better paid jobs and better quality jobs. Decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels will build more inclusive and robust economies. It will save millions of lives and slash the huge healthcare cost of pollution.
Committing to climate action means helping countries like Iraq and Somalia on the front line of extremism and terrorism. It means helping coastal communities from Louisiana to the Solomon Islands. It means protecting food security and building stability to avoid adding yet more refugees to what is already an unprecedented global humanitarian crisis.
The Paris Agreement is founded on clear evidence, solid science and incredible international collaboration. It will put aside differences to tackle a common, monumental challenge. The reversal of damage to the ozone layer proves that such a global effort can succeed. Ultimately, this is an investment in our own survival that no-one can afford to abandon.”