9 November 2016- Christian Aid Ireland has warned that any attempts by new US President-elect Donald Trump to bury his head in the sand over climate change will harm American interests and be an act of economic self-sabotage.
Sorley McCaughey, Head of Policy and Advocacy with Christian Aid Ireland, said the global transition to a zero carbon economy would not be held up by one man.
He said: 'Last year’s Paris Agreement showed the world was united in its concern about climate change and its commitment to decarbonising the global economy. The rest of the world will not risk a global climate catastrophe because of one man’s opposition.
'The economics of energy are already changing rapidly, home grown wind and solar are increasingly becoming the cheapest forms of energy. The benefits are already being recognised by a number of US states which are harnessing their abundant clean energy resources.
'On a practical point, now that the Paris Agreement has come into force, no country can easily withdraw for at least three years. Even if the US wanted to do so at that point it would suffer considerably, both a political and diplomatic cost as well as putting itself at the back of the pack on the benefits of clean tech.
'Although the US would certainly suffer from any obstruction of efforts to stop climate change, it also risks the lives of millions of the world’s poorest people who have done nothing to cause the problem yet are the most vulnerable to its effects.'
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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, and sustainably. Our strategy document ‘From Inspiration to Impact’ outlines how we set about this task.
3. Christian Aid Ireland, with the support of Irish Aid, funds partners in Colombia working on peace building, human rights and accountability.
4. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org
5. Follow Christian Aid Ireland on Twitter: twitter.com/christianaidirl
6. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit www.christianaid.ie