Statement of Henry M. Paulson, Jr., on U.S. Withdrawal from the Paris Accord

I am dismayed and disappointed by the decision for the United States to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change. American leadership was essential in putting this landmark agreement together, and now, by moving ourselves to the sidelines of an evolving global conversation, we have left a void for others to fill. Regrettably, this undermines U.S. credibility and weakens our ability to lead in other areas. We can’t afford to continue making policy decisions that cede our leadership role in the world. And we can’t afford to be laggards on addressing climate change – time is of the essence. If we accelerate the transition to an economy fueled by low-carbon energy and invest in job-creating industries of the future, in turn, we will also enhance America’s economic competitiveness and global leadership.

Fortunately, progress on energy and climate in our country does not happen only at the federal level. I applaud the leadership of the city and state governments, best-in-class companies with state-of-the-art energy efficient technologies, and non-governmental organizations, who understand the threat of climate change and are taking steps to address it. But in the absence of a national policy, these actions alone aren’t nearly enough to tackle the risks to our economy and ecosystem.

I am gratified that so many nations came together to make commitments to reduce their emissions around the Paris Agreement. For the good of the planet and the future generations who will inhabit it, I urge these countries to continue forward with their important commitments.

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Media Contact:
Claire Buchan Parker