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ClientEarth Communications

1st June 2017

Climate accountability

US withdraws from Paris Agreement as other countries rally behind climate deal

US president Donald Trump is pulling the country out of the Paris climate change agreement, he has announced this evening (1 June 2017).

Major carbon dioxide emitting countries around the world have responded by reaffirming their commitment to the emissions-cutting accord, which aims to limit the planet to a temperature rise of “well below” 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, with a target of 1.5 degrees.

ClientEarth chief executive James Thornton said: “Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement is an act of vandalism that has the potential to do great harm to current and future generations.

“Even without the US as a party, Paris still represents our best chance of avoiding severe and destabilising climate change. The rest of the world must continue to build on Paris to speed the transition to a cleaner, lower-carbon world.

“The direction of travel is clear, and climate action will continue globally and within the US, as states and businesses continue to drive progress. In the meantime the commitment of the UK, the EU, China, India and other leading nations is more important than ever.”

The EU and China earlier this week announced they have agreed measures to speed up the global shift away from fossil fuels and support the “historic achievement” of the Paris Agreement, which was signed by 195 countries in late 2015. It commits signatories to gradually increasing efforts to reduce carbon emissions and limit global warming.