Washington: Eleven American governors on Thursday urged US President Donald Trump not to withdraw from the Paris agreement, saying that if the US does not make the transition to clean energy then China and India will reap the benefits of the low-carbon leadership.
The 11 governors – including those from California, New York, Oregon, Washington, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Virginia, Connecticut, Hawaii, Delaware and Rhode Island – wrote a letter in this regard to Trump, days after he said that he is going to take a “big decision” on Paris Climate Change Agreement.
Trump has been highly critical of the Paris Agreement arguing that the US has been unfairly treated by this international agreement and that countries like India and China have benefited from this.
“Collective action to limit emissions worldwide is critical; without collaboration, climate change will cost the world’s nations several trillion dollars in damages. Under the Paris Agreement, all the world’s major economies are taking action on climate change for the first time, including China and India, which have put forward their own commitments to cut their carbon pollution domestically,” the letter said.
“If the US does not maintain global climate leadership through national policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transition to clean energy, China and India will. This would be a huge lost opportunity, putting us at a competitive disadvantage and potentially locking us into technologies and economic pathways that are increasingly obsolete while China and India reap the benefits of low-carbon leadership,” the governors said.
Observing that Americans citizens demand the low-cost, clean-air benefits that a clean energy transition can provide, the letter said the leading US companies recognise the need to address business risks and opportunities through the Paris Agreement, and are wisely investing in low-carbon fuels and technologies to stay on the cutting edge of the global economy.
“Our track record-reducing carbon pollution while growing jobs and our economies-provides proof that we need not sacrifice opportunity for action. Indeed, we can secure that opportunity only by continuing to lead,” they wrote.
The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) dealing with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance starting in the year 2020.
The agreement was adopted by consensus on December 12, 2015.
India, the world’s fourth-largest carbon emitter with its population of 1.3 billion people, ratified the Paris agreement on climate change to become the 62nd nation to join the deal last year.