Karsten Weitzenegger has signed the follwoing Statement ‘Paris: our values, our future’ by Club de Madrid leaders. We regret Trump’s decision of pulling out from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Former Presidents and Primer Ministers, plus experts and CdM advisors, call upon every signatory to show urgency and commitment in the fight against global warming.
PARIS, OUR VALUES, OUR FUTURE
Climate Change is an undeniable reality affecting the planet and humankind. It is an existential threat. For over a decade, the Club de Madrid and its more than 100 Members have been vigorously advocating for an ambitious, effective and fair global climate regime. President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the landmark 2015 Paris Climate Agreement has left us and many around the world baffled and concerned, not only about the future of global climate and environmental policy, but also about the impact that this decision may have on international relations moving forward.
The 2015 Paris Agreement was a historical, forward looking milestone, in process and responsibility. Intense negotiations brought 195 nations to agree to voluntarily tackle climate change. Relinquishing the U.S. responsibility and role in the new, global climate regime, as well as in the revolutionary clean energy transition resulting from it, is not only likely to affect the attainment of the Paris Agreement goals, it will open up a geopolitical vacuum with unpredictable and possibly regrettable consequence.
We deeply regret the Trump Administration’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement. In spite of the U.S. withdrawal, we shall forcefully and enthusiastically persist with the line of action launched 10 years ago with our Global Leadership for Climate Action Initiative. We shall strengthen and endeavor to mobilize political will in countries, cities, business and among citizens for far-reaching and effective action to meet the Paris commitments to prevent catastrophic climate change.
Climate change is not just an environmental issue. Climate actions are certainly not preventing the US ‘from conducting its internal economic affairs’ or imposing draconian financial and economic burdens’’ or massive future legal liability’ on the US ‘while imposing no meaningful obligations on the world’s leading polluters’. The Paris Agreement, in fact, opens up an opportunity to expand market options for all. Already in 2007, the McKinsey Global Institute highlighted opportunities for efficiency gains, shifts to lower-carbon energy sources, and expanded carbon sinks with initial capital costs completely offset by savings in future energy costs. They noted that “concerted efforts to reduce GHG emissions would…stimulate economic forces and create business opportunities that we cannot foresee today and that may accelerate the rate of abatement…, thereby reducing the overall cost.” Ten years later, there is even greater consensus on this.
As former democratic Presidents and Prime Ministers from around the globe, we call upon each and every other signatory of the Paris Agreement to show greater urgency and commitment in the fight against global warming and bolster their support of the Paris Accord. We welcome the bold and firm determination of many states, cities, counties and companies in the U.S. to pursue ambitious policies to address climate change and support the transition to a cleaner energy system. We encourage other subnational entities to follow suit stand ready to engage with stakeholders in the US to bring light to the real issue at hand. It is time to speak truth to power and to advance on a positive, constructive and saner path in every family, community and nation. Climate change must remain paramount on the global agenda and truth must prevail in the end, for the sake of our planet and the future of mankind.
Likewise, we urge all stakeholders to further and strengthen trust between the North and the South and establish an equitable basis and new modalities for genuine international cooperation in addressing the challenges of energy and climate security.
Climate Change is much more than just facts, figures and degrees. This is about our values and our future. The Paris Agreement must be a commitment that becomes reality for the sake of our planet and that of future generations.