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United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change

Emergency Resolution adopted by the EPP Political Assembly of 8th – 9th June 2017 on

The European People’s Party (EPP) is deeply troubled by the recent announcement by President Donald Trump signalling the United States’ withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change. The EPP regrets the move as representing a giant step backwards, given that the scientific facts on human-induced global warming are beyond dispute.

The EPP views climate change as an imminent threat to life as we know it. Climate change is not only an environmental challenge but a security one, having an impact on people’s access to food, water and arable land, and potentially intensifying migration flows and increasing the number of conflicts. The adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015 showed that the world leaders recognise the threat: it is worth noting that until President Trump’s announcement, only two other countries – Nicaragua and Syria – had not signed the Agreement.

While the uncertainty of our fast-moving world might seem frightening, the EPP believes that facing the climate challenge head-on will help create jobs and boost our economies. Rather than backtracking to old production models, we must focus on supporting research and eco-innovation in order to build a sustainable future. The EPP recognises the great opportunity ahead and remains committed to transforming Europe’s economy into one that is smart, highly competitive and resource-efficient, high-tech and low-carbon.

In 2015, the EPP fully supported the adoption of the historic Paris Agreement and called for international solidarity and responsibility. Now, more than ever, it is vital that the EU continue its leadership in this effort and ensure timely implementation of the EU Climate and Energy Framework through 2030.

EPP congratulates and supports the numerous US states and major cities, as well as private businesses, who pledged, despite the signalled move of the federal government, to uphold the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement. It is also encouraging that more than 190 countries remain signatories to the Agreement and that other high-polluting nations, including China, continue to adhere to the global pledge to reduce emissions and contain global warming to well below 2°C. Furthermore, the EPP welcomes the Communiqué issued by the European Union, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom, adopted at the recent G7 meeting, which reaffirms these nations’ strong commitment to swiftly implement the Paris Agreement and support developing countries in doing likewise.

The EU stands with the rest of the world, as only a truly common global effort will achieve our climate change objectives.