The United Nations has called President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement a ‘major disappointment’ but remains defiant that the US decision will not derail the ‘unstoppable effort’ to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Major UN organs have responded strongly to the US decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change. Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, called it a ‘major disappointment’, while the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) expressed regret.
Both have indicated a willingness to ready to engage in dialogue with the US government regarding the implications of this announcement.
The UN’s environment agency was more defiant in its response, with the head of UNEP, Erik Solheim, saying that the US decision to leave the Paris Agreement in no way brings an end to the unstoppable effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions and keep warming to below 2 degrees Celsius. He pointed out that China, India, the EU and other nations are already showing strong leadership and determination.
“The science on climate change is perfectly clear: we need more action, not less. This a global challenge. Every nation has a responsibility to act and to act now,” said Solheim, underscoring that there is incredible momentum on climate action and a single political decision will not derail this unparalleled effort.
His comments were echoed by the UNFCCC, which said that the Paris Agreement cannot be renegotiated based on the request of a single party.
The landmark agreement has widespread approval and profound credibility, added the UNFCCC. Signed by 194 countries and ratified by 147, it is supported by a growing wave of businesses, investors, cities, states, regions and citizens worldwide.
Image credit: UN Photo/Manuel Elias