Christian Aid’s International Climate Lead, Mohamed Adow, has condemned Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement.
He said: “Over the past 20 years the world has bent over backwards to accommodate the US in the international climate talks. Although other countries saw the need to act quickly they did everything they could to keep America at the table. And yet despite all those concessions from other nations the US has still thrown it back in their faces.
“The historic Paris Agreement was achieved thanks in large part to US climate diplomacy, but it will succeed with or without the US, as the rest of the world remain committed to the low-carbon transition.
“The 20th Century was powered by fossil fuels and America dominated the world. The 21st Century will be powered by clean energy and Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement could mark the end of American supremacy.
“Thankfully this grossly irresponsible act will not stop the worldwide transition to a low-carbon economy. Addressing climate change is inescapable. The rest of the world recognise that it’s in their interests to decarbonise their economies and slow the heating of the planet. They will not let one man destroy our common home.
“But Trump’s sabotage of the Paris Agreement is a wake-up call. No longer can other countries just sit and hope everything works out. New leadership, from all quarters is now needed.
“The US must face the consequences of this decision and the international isolation it has brought upon itself. Angela Merkel was quite clear last week that America could no longer be relied upon as an international ally. Pulling out of the Paris Agreement does not make America great, it diminishes it in the eyes of the world.
“The thing we must now keep an eye on is the other nations who may use Trump as cover for their own immoral polluting. It’s essential that the rest of the world ensure that there is no backsliding from other nations hoping to get away with undermining global efforts to keep our climate safe and secure.
He added: “The UK must join other governments and make a clear statement of ambition that they won’t be deterred from pressing forward with the decarbonisation of our economy. It will be hard to trust the US when it doesn’t honour its commitments. Britain must now stick to its path of climate leadership and demonstrate it is a responsible member of the international community.
“With UK public opinion in favour of the Paris Agreement at an all-time high, the Government should be confident that the British people will be keen to see them making a stand.”
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Notes to Editors:
1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.
2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.
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5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk