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Christian Aid responds to Trump's self-defeating withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement

1 June 2017 - Pulling out of the Paris Agreement does not make America great, it diminishes it in the eyes of the world.  

Christian Aid Ireland has condemned President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement.
Sorley McCaughey, Head of Advocacy and Policy of Christian Aid Ireland said: 'The Paris Agreement is the pinnacle of international cooperation to confront the risks of climate change, which already affect every country, but which no one nation can face alone. The Paris Agreement will remain legally binding no matter Trump’s decision and our best chance to tackle climate change. 
'America is not immune to climate change: indeed, it is already facing superstorms flooding New York and New Orleans, rising sea levels swamping naval bases, and droughts causing 1930s style crop failures. The consequences of climate change are a real and present danger to America. 
'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. 
'The good news is we’ve seen a progressive alliance rallying to the cause of the world’s biosphere.  European leaders, developing countries, Pope Francis and global investors have all highlighted how important the Paris Agreement is. It’s better the US is isolated and outside the Agreement rather than pulling it apart from the inside. 
'Action to prevent climate change is being discussed at the highest levels in Brussels, Beijing, Delhi and all the other capitals of the world including even petro-state Saudi Arabia. China’s transition away from coal to low-carbon energy is well underway, and these countries are already signaling their continued commitment to the Paris Agreement. 
'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. 
'Sensible American leaders, from states, cities, civil society and business will now be working doubly hard not to let Trump lead them into folly.  The fight to save our climate is underway and the resistance both inside and outside America will be fierce.'
McCaughey added: '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. 
'This includes Ireland which should 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'.

For media queries contact:
Sorley McCaughey

Head of Advocacy and Policy
Christian Aid Ireland
087-0620062 (m)

Meabh Smith
Head of Communications
Christian Aid Ireland

Additional Notes:
  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 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

  4. Follow Christian Aid Ireland on Twitter: twitter.com/christianaidirl

  5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit www.christianaid.ie

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