Withdrawal from Paris Agreement Puts U.S. at Economic, Technological and Innovative Disadvantage

Arlington, VA

Today, the Trump Administration announced its intention to formally withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.  In response to that action, The Nature Conservancy’s Chief External Affairs Officer Lynn Scarlett issued the following statement:

“In 2017, when President Trump announced his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement, it was the wrong move.  Nearly three years later, as the Administration finalizes that ill-conceived choice, it remains the wrong move for our nation and our planet.

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“With over 180 countries pursuing emissions reductions commitments under the Paris Agreement, it is the most significant global signal that the world recognizes the urgency and scope of the climate crisis. Today’s announcement that the U.S. government is officially withdrawing from the Paris Agreement is incredibly short-sighted.  Across the world, we see the rapid deployment of renewable and clean energy. Instead of placing American innovation at the vanguard of this transition, this Administration is taking America out of the race to develop and deploy new carbon-free and low-carbon technologies.

“For decades, the U.S. has demonstrated leadership on international environmental issues to protect our communities and our natural resources, as global development creates new challenges.  That U.S. leadership has been imperative to catalyze actions by all countries to address these global concerns. Universal action on climate change is the only path to a more secure, healthy, and prosperous future. 

“The American public is increasingly clear in speaking out.  They understand the urgent threat of climate change and want to see action.  Research continues to pile up, as each successive month brings new reports of record heat, unprecedented glacial melting, extreme weather events, and countless other indicators that the climate is changing, with severe and increasing consequences for communities around the world.

“The good news is that solutions already exist that can help address climate threats while contributing to healthy lands and waters, safer communities and strong economies.  Countries, companies, and communities must work together to accelerate the transition to clean energy and improve energy efficiency.  But it’s not enough to change our energy systems – we can’t get there without harnessing the power of natural landscapes to reduce impacts we’re experiencing.  We need to turn sources of carbon emissions into carbon sinks.

“That’s what makes this decision by the Administration so disappointing. We know we have the solutions. What we need is the courage to take ambitious action.  Instead, our leadership is abandoning their role as a trailblazer towards the healthy future we desire, and risking our economic, technological, and environmental security all at once.”

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories—37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners—we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit or follow @nature_press on Twitter.