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US decision will not bring an end to Paris accord's efforts, says UN Environment Programme chief

New Delhi: The United States' decision to leave the Paris Climate Agreement adopted by nearly 200 countries, including India, will not stop its incredible momentum, the United Nations environment head said on Friday.

"The science on climate change is perfectly clear: we need more action, not less. This is a global challenge. Every nation has a responsibility to act and to act now," Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, Erik Solheim, said.

His statement comes in the wake of the United States president Donald Trump on Thursday announcing that the his country is withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement due to the "draconian financial and economic burdens" the agreement imposes on his country.

File image of UNEP executive director Erik Solheim. Wikimedia Commons

File image of UNEP executive director Erik Solheim. Wikimedia Commons

Solheim said the United States' decision in no way brings an end to this unstoppable effort.

"China, India, the European Union and others are already showing strong leadership. One hundred and ninety nations are showing strong determination to work with them to protect this and future generations," he said.

He said there is incredible momentum on climate action from individual states, cities, the private sector and citizens, and that a single political decision will not derail this unparalleled effort.

"The UN environment urges all parties to redouble their efforts. We will work with everyone willing to make a difference."

According to Solheim, climate action is not a burden, but an unprecedented opportunity.

"A shift to renewable energy creates more jobs, better paid jobs and better quality jobs. Decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels will build more inclusive and robust economies. It will save millions of lives and slash the huge healthcare cost of pollution," he noted.

Committing to climate action, Solheim said, means helping countries like Iraq and Somalia on the frontline of extremism and terrorism.

"It means helping coastal communities from Louisiana to the Solomon Islands. It means protecting food security and building stability to avoid adding yet more refugees to what is already an unprecedented global humanitarian crisis," Solheim added.

Updated Date: Jun 02, 2017 08:36 AM

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