Climate activists under the aegis of Climate Action Network (CAN) today issued a statement in Marrakech on the election of the Republican candidate, Donald Trump, as the 45th President of the United States. Below are the excerpts.
The climate movement is a people’s movement. 103 countries have ratified the Paris Agreement, testimony to the power of people to push their governments to act on climate change.
Climate Action Network is determined to build on and carry forward on this momentum despite uncertainties and political shocks that threaten to derail our focus, to defend the millions of people already impacted by the devastating consequences of climate change and to leave behind a safer, cleaner and more secure world for future generations.
Our movement goes beyond governments to represent a broad and diverse coalition of cities, businesses, local communities and individuals. No one government or individual, however powerful, can deny the transformational change that is unfolding before us and the growing scientific evidence that we need to act urgently to move away from destructive fossil fuels and embrace a 100% renewable energy future.
President-elect Trump must recognise the moral, economic and social imperative to lead and act on climate change and carry forward the commitments made by the United States under the Paris Agreement.
Below are some reactions from CAN members on the outcome from the US Elections.
“The economics of energy are already changing rapidly, home grown wind and solar are increasingly becoming the cheapest forms of energy and falling costs in technology continue to show us the direction of travel. The benefits are already being recognised by a number of US states which are harnessing their abundant clean energy resources. It’s also popular with the American public. A recent Pew Research Centre study showed that 83 per cent of American adults support expanding wind farms, while 89 per cent support solar expansion. Although the US will certainly suffer from any obstruction of efforts to stop climate change, it also risks the lives of millions of the world’s poorest people who have done nothing to cause the problem yet are the most vulnerable to its effects.” Mohamed Adow, Senior Climate Advisor, Christian Aid
“President-elect Trump has the opportunity to catalyze further action on climate that sends a clear signal to investors to keep the transition to a renewable-powered economy on track. China, India, and other economic competitors are racing to be the global clean energy superpower, and the US doesn’t want to be left behind.” Tina Johnson, Policy Director, US Climate Action Network
“The new president must protect the people he serves from climate chaos. No personal belief or political affiliation can change the stark truth that every new oil well and pipeline pushes us closer to catastrophe. The administration has moral and legal obligations to meet international commitments and go further to curb pollution and keep dirty fossil fuels in the ground.” Maya Golden-Krasner, Senior Attorney, Centre for Biological Diversity.
“Donald Trump now has the unflattering distinction of being the only head of state in the entire world to reject the scientific consensus that humans are driving climate change. No matter what happens, Donald Trump can’t change the fact that wind and solar energy are rapidly becoming more affordable and accessible than dirty fossil fuels. With both the market and grassroots environmental advocacy moving us toward clean energy, there is still a strong path forward for reducing climate pollution even under a Trump presidency. Still, this is a time for tough choices. Trump must choose whether he will be a President remembered for putting America and the world on a path to climate disaster, or for listening to the American public and keeping us on a path to climate progress. Trump better choose wisely, otherwise – we can guarantee him the hardest fight of his life every step of the way.” Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club.
“We have a new administration and a new opportunity to surge forward on climate action. The Obama administration moved mountains to rally the world around combatting climate change. Our new president needs to carry that legacy forward and make good on the promise to make America into the world’s clean energy superpower. US leadership is needed to turn the international consensus of the Paris Agreement into concrete global action, and it starts by charting our own path to a low-carbon future.” Mariana Panuncio-Feldman, World Wildlife Fund’s (WWF) senior director of international climate cooperation
“Trump’s election is a disaster, but it cannot be the end of the international climate process. We’re not giving up the fight and neither should the international community. Trump will try and slam the brakes on climate action, which means we need to throw all of our weight on the accelerator. In the United States, the climate movement will put everything on the line to protect the progress we’ve made and continue to push for bold action. We need the rest of the world to charge ahead and look beyond the White House to partner with civil society, businesses, and local governments who are still committed to climate action. Our work becomes much harder now, but it’s not impossible, and we refuse to give up hope.” May Boeve, Executive Director, 350.org
“Climate change is already having major impacts on the lives of millions of people in the United States and around the world. Droughts, flooding and other types of extreme weather events are becoming stronger and more frequent, and the U.S. is not immune. This is a global crisis that President-elect Trump will have to address. “The U.S. has joined the Paris Agreement and must continue to meet its climate obligations. Leaving this important international agreement will damage our credibility with important overseas partners and would be a major setback in the fight against climate change.” Kelly Stone, ActionAid Policy Analyst
“It is regrettable that the next US President has not yet understood that the world is on track to phase out fossil fuels. While it is clear that Mr Trump cannot withdraw the US nor undermine the Paris Agreement, there is a risk for the US to miss the boat in a race to a renewable future. There is however no fear that the world’s ongoing energy shift would be troubled by this election result. As more than a half of all countries in the world have ratified the Paris Agreement, it is clear that the Paris momentum will continue no matter who the President of the US is.” Ulriikka Aarnio, International Climate policy coordinator Climate Action Network Europe
“The world knows that a prosperous future is one that runs on clean energy.Despite the election outcome, cities and businesses and other countries will continue to lead on climate and work to ensure a fair, practical transition for workers entering the new economy. At the North American Leaders’ Summit in June, Canada, Mexico and the United States agreed to work together to develop a continent-wide clean electricity grid and to reduce methane emissions. These actions serve our national and regional interests as much today as they did yesterday.” Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, Climate Action Network Canada
“At the time of the Kyoto Protocol’s adoption, with the election of President Bush, the EU was key in maintaining the international climate regime and cooperation that 10 years later led to the adoption of the Paris Agreement. Today’s news should be a wake up call for the EU. Regardless of how Donald Trump decides to act on climate, all countries including Europe have to step up. The political landscape in the US may have changed, but the reality of climate change hasn’t. The reality of climate risks hasn’t. The reality of the multiple co-benefits brought by strong, ambitious climate action hasn’t. In the EU, for each 1% of energy efficiency being achieved, 7 million people are lifted out of poverty.” Celia Gautier, CAN-RAC France
“On this horrific morning, U.S. youth denounce and grieve the election of Donald Trump. We stand in global solidarity with communities all over the world that have been impacted by U.S. climate injustice and imperialism. We also stand with marginalized communities across the U.S. who wake up in fear this morning: fear of deportation, fear of violence, fear of being silenced, imprisoned or killed in their struggles. It is now up to us to enact the just and stable future we believe in.” Ryan Camero, Media and Communications Lead, Sustain US.