Hivos’ response to US withdrawal from Paris Agreement

June 7, 2017

Hivos strongly condemns Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. It shows the Trump Administration is in total discord with reality and isolates itself from the rest of the world. And although Trump believes otherwise, the first to suffer from this action is the American people as it is totally contrary to their best interests: their health, security, food supply, jobs and future.

Trump’s withdrawal doesn’t stop the other countries from adhering to the Agreement. On the contrary, it spurred countless counter responses from governments and private sector that shows the Agreement, which is ratified by 147 out of the 197 signatory countries, is bigger than a single leader and countries are determined to move forward with climate action. New pledges and reaffirmations of commitments show that climate action is stronger than ever and that states and businesses continue to drive progress towards a sustainable future for both people and planet. The ‘offer’ made by Trump to be willing to renegotiate for a new agreement thus falls on empty ground.

While this gives us hope, we shouldn’t underestimate the damage Trump caused with his decision. Countries most vulnerable to climate change depend on funds from larger economies to help them adapting to new realities and in the transition from a fossil fuel to a renewable energy powered economy. Especially the Green Climate Fund (GCF), set up under UNFCCC auspices, has as its core business to serve developing countries and its people by focussing on both climate and sustainable development. Trump’s pulling out of the Paris Agreement means that 2 out of the 3 billion that was pledged by the US will not be transferred, leaving a huge gap in the finance available for the GCF, and in the end, a lack of support for people in developing countries.