Make sure there will always be Paris

With 71% of Americans supporting climate action, Paris is not a partisan issue. Immediately after Trump’s announcement of U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on climate change yesterday, Republicans and Democrats from across the country banded together in solidarity to commit states, cities, businesses and universities to the terms of the Paris Agreement despite Trump’s announcement. Our own Salt Lake City and Park City have joined these efforts.

Why? For some it is about the overwhelming scientific agreement around climate change and the evidence of environmental and human health impacts. For others it is about a national security threat that the Pentagon itself puts at the top of its list. For others still it is about the fear of getting left behind by a world where nearly 200 nations have come together in an unprecedented way to innovate and build technologies for the future or missing out on economic benefits like $1.07 trillion in worldwide fuel savings alone and 20 million net added jobs by transitioning to renewable energy. And for some it simply boils down to protecting the international relationships our country has spent centuries forming.

Pulling out of Paris does not put America first

The talking points the White House put out to justify withdrawal from the Paris agreement are misleading at best, and in many cases outright lies (see this article for a review of the top 5 deceptions in Trump’s speech yesterday). The U.S. was not forced into the Paris Agreement, but paved the way, and it cannot be renegotiated. China and India are not getting away with anything, but rather have come to the table in an unprecedented way thanks in large part to careful negotiations by the U.S. and agreed to historic emissions cuts that make the single biggest impact on global climate change to date. China is also a world leader in total production of renewable energy, producing more than double the output of any other top producer. In the meantime, the U.S. creates more than double the emissions per capita than China and contributes 1/5 of the world’s total emissions. That’s a big deal to extremely low emitting countries under extreme threats from climate change, such as Pacific island nations where entire islands have disappeared and entire countries are in threat of extinction from rising seas.

YOU can do something, right here in Utah

Whatever your reason for opposing U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, don’t just complain about it, do something. Action Utah is already working on common sense clean air initiatives for the 2018 legislative session and will continue to bring you meaningful actions you can take to impact this issue at the state and federal level and to reduce emissions in our own communities in order to clean up our air, prevent related health problems and lower our electricity and medical costs. But we need your help! Here are two things you can do:

CALL TO ACTION

  • Become an Action Utah Clean Air Sub-committee member. For volunteers with a minimum of 4 hours of time to dedicate toward research, writing, coalition building, and community lobbying efforts and events. This group of committed volunteers uses nonpartisan bridge-building as a primary tool for creating coordinated strategies around specific initiatives and legislation. Contact us here to volunteer.
  • Join our Clean Air phone tree. Sign up to receive notices delivered directly to your inbox about specific actions you can take to improve air quality in Utah and to impact state and federal emissions policies, then commit to spreading the word to activate at least 5 other people. Contact us here to join.
  • Take other actions. Ask your mayor to join Salt Lake City and Park City in joining the United States Climate Alliance and to commit to 100% clean energy. Call on your Members of Congress to defend funding for the EPA in the federal budget. Call our Senators to let them know that withdrawing from the Paris Agreement is a huge mistake. Tweet @POTUS about the grave error he has made in withdrawing from the #ParisAgreement. Sign this petition, trending now on our Petitions, Petitions! page.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (202) 224-5251 (DC) // (801) 524-4380 (SLC) // (801) 375-7881 (Provo) // (435) 634-1795 (St. George) // (801) 625-5672 (Ogden) // (435) 586-8435 (Cedar City)
Sen. Mike Lee 202-224-5444 (DC) // 801-524-5933 (SLC) // 435-628-5514 (St. George) // 801-392-9633 (Ogden)

Further reading

New York Times: “The Paris Climate Deal: What You Need to Know
ABC News: “A guide to global warming, Paris pact and the U.S. role
Vox: “Global Warming, explained
NRDC: “Why the Paris Agreement is good for the United States

Recommended viewing: A case for climate change action by NASA astronaut and scientist

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