Paris Climate Agreement: Indian-American lawmakers term Donald Trump's decision 'catastrophic'

Washington: Indian-American lawmakers on Friday described US president Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris climate deal an "irrational" decision that has set the planet on a "catastrophic" course.

"This decision, based on falsehoods and the denial of climate change, would be a complete disaster for our cities, Washington state, our country and the entire world. It's not a hoax - the science is clear on climate change," said Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.

"By unilaterally pulling the US out of the Paris climate accord, President Trump is setting our planet on a catastrophic course," she said in a statement.

US Ppesident Donald Trump is applauded as he announces that the US will withdraw from the Paris climate change accord during a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, on Thursday. AP

US president Donald Trump is applauded as he announces that the US withdrawal from the Paris climate change accord at the White House on Thursday. AP

The first-time Democratic lawmaker from Seattle said it is America's moral responsibility to transition the economy from fossil fuels to clean energy while ensuring that they sustain and create retraining programmes, apprenticeships and good paying jobs for workers.

"We must also aim to collaborate with other nations in drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions," added Jayapal.

Democratic Senator Kamala Harris from California said pulling out of the Paris Agreement is an irrational decision that is a disastrous step backward, threatens the future viability of the planet for future generations and abdicates America's role of leadership.

"The United States has an obligation to combat this global threat to public health and safety here at home, and abroad. As this administration retreats, I will continue to work to support California's efforts to lead the fight against global climate change," Harris said.

Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi said abandoning the commitments US made in the Paris Climate Agreement is a massive self-inflicted wound to the environment, America's global influence, and its economy.

"The damage caused by this decision is undeniable and that's why the first piece of legislation I wrote as a member of Congress called for our country to keep the pledges we made in this agreement, the promises we made to the world, and to ourselves. President Trump is ceding American leadership in the green economy and the vital effort to counter the effects of global climate change. This decision must not stand," he said.

"We must continue to resist global climate change through continuing our commitment to clean energy and other green technology. As the former president of a clean energy company, I know how important these advancements are to our economy and to reversing our dangerous environmental course," Krishnamoorthi said.

"I refuse to accept the premise that the United States or the world is better off when we refuse to lead or even join the struggle against this global threat," he said.

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, described it as an irresponsible and short-sighted decision. "President Trump's decision today (Friday) to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, making us just one of three countries in the world not to participate, is short-sighted and irresponsible," she said.

"Without global action to drastically curb carbon pollution, climate change threatens the safety and security of the planet, especially in places like Hawaii where we are already experiencing its' devastating effects," she said.

Gabbard said the US should be leading by example, leveraging innovation through science and technology, investing in clean energy, creating renewable energy jobs that cannot be outsourced, growing the economy, enhancing US energy independence, and lowering energy costs for families and businesses, while reducing carbon emissions.

"We must continue to persevere and do our part to support efforts in the private sector and at all levels of government to combat climate change and protect our environment," Gabbard said.

Updated Date: Jun 02, 2017 14:33 PM

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