Understanding the Issues

Our statement regarding Donald Trump’s decision on June 1, 2017 to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Accord: 

“Donald Trump pledged to make job creation the centerpiece of his Administration.   Given that the US has four times more jobs in renewable energy than in coal, and given that there are more jobs in solar energy than in coal energy in Indiana, Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement is stunningly short-sighted, from an economic perspective.   Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement will send the wrong signal to the global sustainable energy marketplace, hurting prospective U.S. investment in places like Indiana, which ranks 2nd in the country in renewable energy manufacturing job potential. Trump has made a historic mistake that is wrong economically, environmentally, & morally. And yet, determination by an extraordinary array of foresighted business people, entrepreneurs, inventors, faith leaders, Mayors, citizens, and advocates will mean that the movement to address climate change in the U.S. will continue to grow, despite Trump’s stunningly short-sighted decision.

Trump’s abdication of U.S. global leadership on climate change is shamefully at odds with America’s heritage, from defeating the Nazis to launching the first man on the moon. We do not hold our breath that Trump will make a good faith effort to renegotiate the deal, as he says, but we are fully behind the extraordinary coalition committed to meaningful climate action.”

Members of the media: Please contact HEC’s Marianne Holland (mholland@hecweb.org) should you have any questions or would like further comment from our Executive Director, Jesse Kharbanda.

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On Climate Change
Despite the assertion of skeptics, there is overwhelming evidence that climate change is happening and that it is man-made.  America’s leading scientific bodies, from the National Academy of Sciences to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, maintain that human activities – particularly the burning of fossil fuels – are the primary cause for global warming.

Economists predict that climate change will create global instability as resources become scarcer and competition greater.  The Stern Report estimates that enacting federal legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will cost 1-2% of the global GDP.  If the worst impacts of climate change are not mitigated, however, the total cost of global warming in the United States could be as high as 3.6 percent of GDP by 2100.

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