Last week, Trump proclaimed his intention to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement. But climate action presses on. Since Trump’s announcement, more than 200 US mayors have committed to fulfilling the goals of the Paris agreement, and EU members have strongly condemned the withdrawal, saying they will move ahead with climate action.
These leaders affirm: We’re still in the Paris agreement. And we, the moms and dads of America, we’re in too. We are working toward the Paris goals, with or without the President.
What are those goals?
The Paris climate accord is a non-binding agreement signed by almost every nation on Earth to significantly reduce the carbon dioxide and methane emissions that are causing global climate change.
Nations agreed to contain global average temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrialization levels. (Global average temperature has already risen more than 0.8 degrees Celsius since 1880.)
Under the Paris agreement, nations proposed voluntary reductions in climate pollution. These reductions are not enough to meet the goal of containing temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius, but countries agreed to ratchet up their commitments over time, through collectively evaluating progress every five years.
The US’s participation in the Paris agreement was seen as critical. The US accounts for one fifth of global human-caused climate pollution, and Trump’s withdrawal signals his unwillingness to take concrete action to limit climate pollution.
He’s unwilling. It’s reckless and arrogant. But we are leaving him behind. We’re still in! Nations, states, counties, cities, and individuals can and must take action to curb climate pollution—no matter what.