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President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the global Paris climate agreement represents “a victory for the forces of global warming,” said a panel of prominent climate scientists on Monday.
The decision, Trump announced to the world in an address from the White House, has the potential to lead to “one of the most profound shifts in history” and will undermine efforts to address the climate crisis.
After Trump’s announcement, a host of climate experts expressed dismay with the president’s policies and offered their opinions on what comes next.
“It’s a sad day for the international community, for the United States, and for the millions of people who are suffering — most of whom are low-lying island nations in the Caribbean and Central and South America — and we’re certainly not going backwards,” said Rachel Carson, the president of the Environmental Defense Fund.
“This is a victory for the forces of global warming,” Harvard professor John W. P. Kotz said. “They are going to get more power to tell the American public what to think and what to do, and they’re not going to be limited to the federal government.”
Trump has been pushing the United States to become part of the Paris Climate Accords since his 2016 campaign, but has been on a course of renegotiation ever since, with administration officials expressing concern on Monday about the impact of the decision.
The Paris Agreement, signed in 2015, is the largest climate agreement ever agreed to by nations and the world’s major economies, and the United States is the world’s second largest greenhouse gas polluter after China. The accord calls on nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and aims to keep global temperatures from rising more than two degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels.
“We will be leaving the Paris Accord — and other international efforts to confront climate change — in a better position than ever before,” Trump said in