Why This GOP Congressman Wants Back in the Paris Climate Agreement

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: Nov 13, 2017 2:45 PM
Why This GOP Congressman Wants Back in the Paris Climate Agreement

Progressive environmentalists are not the only bloc urging President Trump to reconsider his June announcement and bring the U.S. back into the Paris climate accords.

Rep. Vern Buchanan (FL) issued the following statement Monday noting the importance of addressing climate change, a topic especially relevant for his state.

“Climate change is a serious threat, especially for a state like Florida that has two coastlines vulnerable to rising waters,” Buchanan said. “There is a reason why 196 nations across the globe support this voluntary and non-binding agreement.”

“Protecting the environment and growing the economy are not mutually exclusive,” he continued. “We should be doing everything we can to accomplish both.”

Additionally, with Nicaragua and Syria now signing on to the climate deal and the U.S. as the only nation not on board, Buchanan says it's not a good look. Other critics have the same complaint, noting that our being the only nation to reject the deal leaves us painfully "isolated."

“With Syria’s decision, the relentless commitment of the global community to deliver on Paris is more evident than ever,” said Paula Caballero, director of the climate change program at the World Resources Institute. “The U.S.’s stark isolation should give Trump reason to reconsider his ill-advised announcement and join the rest of the world in tackling climate change.”

The Paris agreement, signed by President Obama in 2015 and 200 other nations, asks participants to lower their greenhouse gas emissions. After reviewing the deal this summer, Trump decided it was just too risky a move for the U.S. economy.

Rumor had it in September that Trump was considering reentering the deal or at least being open to renegotiations. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders quickly dispelled those reports.

In any case, withdraw or not, the U.S. cannot formally leave the deal until 2020.