This week, as international leaders met in Bonn, Germany, for climate negotiations, Moms Clean Air Force participated in events across the U.S. to celebrate the actions states, cities, businesses, and other leaders are taking to fight dangerous climate change.
From Reno to Philadelphia, from Denver to DC, Moms Clean Air Force joined with partners and elected officials to highlight our commitment to the Paris Agreement goals. 252 cities and counties, 9 states, 1,780 businesses and investors, 339 colleges and universities, 213 communities of faith, as well as more than a million Americans, have signed the We Are Still In pledge to uphold and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
As parents, we teach our children the commonsense lesson: “When you make a mess, you clean it up!” The U.S. has long been, and continues to be, the largest carbon dioxide polluter per capita in the world. That pollution is threatening the health and wellbeing of all people.
- Houston knows that. That city’s residents faced devastating flooding after more than 50 inches of rain fell in August – more than any other storm in US history.
- Florida knows that, where blackouts left millions in the dark following Hurricane Irma barreling up the state.
- Puerto Ricans know that. Many still don’t have electricity or safe drinking water 8 weeks after the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria.
These events were made worse by climate change.
Climate change isn’t some far-away issue. It’s happening right now, harming our communities from coast to coast. It is going to exacerbate a complex web of major health threats, such as asthma, allergies, Lyme disease, malaria, cholera, mental illness, drought, malnutrition, war, and more.
That’s why acting on climate change can’t wait. We know what is causing the problem, and we know how to solve this problem. We also know that there are huge benefits that real climate action will unlock. This is an unprecedented opportunity to improve our health, our economy, and our global standing.
And if the president doesn’t understand that, we are going ahead anyway. If the president won’t protect our children and our grandchildren from climate change, we will.
Two years ago, I went to Paris to deliver a message to the world’s leaders: Moms want a stable future for our children. We joined with parent organizations from around the world who are fighting greenhouse gas emissions. We witnessed the inspiring power of the working together to solve the most pressing challenge of our millennium.
Only Nicaragua and Syria didn’t participate. Nicaragua, because the plan didn’t go far enough in slashing carbon dioxide emissions. Syria, because it was a nation mired in war. Both those nations have now joined the global agreement – but the US has backed out. The US now stands alone – the only nation in the global community not party to the Paris climate agreement.
A majority of Americans strongly support the Paris Agreement, but President Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt decided to withdraw from it – abandoning U.S. leadership on clean energy and putting our children’s health and future at risk.
That is the opposite of leadership.
Today’s true leaders are those who are protecting children through their commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in their cities, their states, their congregations, their universities, their corporations, their counties, and their tribes. The moms are with you. We are still in.