June 2, 2017

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Kowal, UUP blast Trump on Paris accord pull-out

uupdate 6-2-17

Click here for Kowal's media statement on Trump's Paris Agreement decision

UUP President Fred Kowal hammered President Donald Trump’s June 1 decision to retreat from the Paris Agreement, calling it “a historic mistake that future generations will look back on with disdain.”

Kowal, in a June 1 media statement, said that by pulling out of the agreement, Trump has tossed aside America’s pledge to help control climate change—and a real chance for a cleaner, sustainable planet—and favored billionaire polluters over the “health and well-being of the American people.”

"As the nation’s largest public higher education union, UUP is committed to fact-based decision making, and a decision like this is anything but that,” said Kowal. “President Kennedy took us to the moon. With this move, Donald Trump will take us back to the Dark Ages.”

World leaders were disheartened by Trump’s decision but stood defiant.

In a joint statement, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni said they regretted America's decision to withdraw from the accord, but said they were still strongly committed to the pact. They encouraged "all our partners to speed up their action to combat climate change." Leaders from China and India and said they will remain in the accord, according to The New York Times.

State and city leaders also took a stand against Trump.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the governors of California and Washington have formed an alliance, the United States Climate Alliance, to meet the climate goals set in the Paris Agreement, Politco reported. Those states account for about a fifth of the U.S. population and accounted for just over 11 percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions in 2014.

The group also includes mayors of 30 cities, more than 80 university presidents and more than 100 businesses.

“The White House’s reckless decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement has devastating repercussions not only for the United States, but for our planet,” Cuomo said. “New York State is committed to meeting the standards set forth in the Paris Accord regardless of Washington’s irresponsible actions. We will not ignore the science and reality of climate change.”

The Paris Agreement, signed by President Barack Obama in 2015, allows each participating country to determine how it will mitigate global warming and set its own deadlines to meet those goals. Only two countries, Syria and Nicaragua, are not part of the accord.

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