For future generations

Dear Friends, 

This week, the State Department announced it was beginning the formal process to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, the landmark international agreement to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and limit total global warming this century to less than two degrees Celsius.

Climate change is the greatest threat to our planet and it is confronting humanity with a crisis that can be solved only through concerted international efforts. However, this president is not concerned with building coalitions—sadly, he is concerned with breaking whatever it is that President Obama and Vice President Biden built. By breaking America’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, President Trump is reducing America’s standing in the world.

I believe that the president’s decision is shameful. It is cowardly when we need to be brave and act boldly. Once again, President Trump is abandoning our global allies for the sake of misplaced political gain. Now America stands alone – nearly 200 countries have joined this global commitment to fighting climate change, even rogue states like North Korea and civil war-torn countries like Syria. It should be lost on no one that the same president who believes climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese has actually set the stage for countries like China to fill the gaping hole left behind by the United States.

The president also stands alone in his denial of the profound threats posed by climate change. According to a recent report released by the Pentagon, the changing climate is increasing risks to mission-critical military bases, both coastal and inland. The 2018 National Climate Assessment prepared by scientists and experts across 13 federal agencies of the Trump Administration reported that climate change – if left unchecked – is on track to reduce our nation’s economic output by as much as 10 percent by 2100.

In Delaware, the lowest-lying state in the country, the urgency couldn’t be clearer. Our state is sinking while the seas around us are rising. Homes, roads and businesses in our coastal communities are facing increasing threats from flooding and extreme weather. The First State can’t afford to wait on climate action.

Fortunately, around the country, local leaders and businesses are stepping up and doing what they can to fill the leadership void left by the president. More than 400 mayors, along with 17 states and thousands of businesses, have pledged their support for the Paris Agreement. That makes up almost 60 percent of the nation’s economy! These states, cities, companies and universities recognize that with the challenge of climate change comes the tremendous opportunity to create millions of clean energy jobs and improve public health.

Long after the rest of us are gone, future generations will remember this president’s failure to lead on the greatest environmental challenge of our time – but we cannot be deterred. I will continue working in Congress on efforts to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, address the climate crisis, and ensure we leave behind a healthier planet for future generations to call home.

Tom Carper