Physicians for Social Responsibility executive director Jeff Carter: “President Trump’s plan to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement is a drastic reversal in the global effort to curb catastrophic climate change. His plan to back down from the Agreement endangers the American communities that he has the duty to protect. Climate change aggravates the frequency and intensity of extreme heat waves, increases the risk of dangerous weather events, and augments the spread of insect-borne and water-borne diseases. We are already seeing the serious harms that climate change imposes on health in our communities. President Trump’s anticipated decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement will harm Americans’ health, our economy, and the environment we all depend on.”
Jonathan Patz, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of global environment health and an expert on the health risks of climate change and the health benefits of climate policies: "Withdrawing from the Paris accord would be a huge blow to public health, knowing the health dividends from cleaner air and more livable cities that go along with a low carbon economy."
Daniel Vimont, a UW-Madison professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences and an expert on climate change and climate change variations: "It's not clear that Trump has the legal authority to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. While he could initiate the process, it wouldn't take effect until 2020 at the earliest. Nonetheless, a statement that the U.S. will withdraw from the agreement continues a trend of sending us backward economically, compared with China and Europe. We continue to miss out on opportunities to grow a green energy economy."
Ankur Desai, a University of Wisconsin-Madison professor in atmospheric and oceanic sciences and an expert on carbon and greenhouse gas emissions and their effects on a changing climate: "The Paris Agreement, decades in the making, reflects a long-term commitment by all but two countries of the world to reduce the harmful effects of climate change while still allowing countries to grow their economies and develop. Pulling out now only puts the U.S. in a weaker bargaining position and hurts its competitiveness in a rapidly changing economy."
Corporate Accountability International president Kelle Louaillier: “This decision will have far-reaching implications for people, the planet and the future of the Paris Agreement. But, a U.S. withdrawal would not mean the U.S. government will walk away. In fact, this move would almost guarantee that the Trump administration will exploit the rules of the Paris Agreement, which allow the U.S. to stay at the table for the next four years, to continue to undermine and block climate progress."
350.org executive director May Boeve:"Today is a shameful day. The Trump administration’s decision to exit the Paris Climate Agreement is a travesty, a crime against the future of people and the planet. The choice they had was clear, and they decided to side with fossil fuel billionaires over the overwhelming majority of American who support the agreement. By exiting, the administration has isolated the United States from the rest of the world and defamed the U.S position as global leader on climate action and much more."
Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune:"Donald Trump has made a historic mistake which our grandchildren will look back on with stunned dismay at how a world leader could be so divorced from reality and morality.Trump has abandoned the standard of American leadership, turned his back on the what the public and the market demand, and shamelessly disregarded the safety of our families just to let the fossil fuel industry eek out a few more dollars in profits. This is a decision that will cede America’s role internationally to nations like China and India, which will benefit handsomely from embracing the booming clean energy economy while Trump seeks to drive our country back into the 19th century."
Environmental Working Group president Ken Cook: “President Trump's foolish decision means America is joining Syria and Nicaragua as the only three nations in the world not part of the race to head off one of the most dangerous threats the planet has faced. Pulling the nation out of this pact would only further cement in the minds of Americans and others around the globe that the president has no sense of moral responsibility to protect future generations from the ravages of climate change.”
Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism: "The Reform Movement condemns, with the utmost gravity and disappointment, the President’s decision to exit the historic Paris Climate Agreement. This is an abdication of responsibility to address global climate change and is both physically dangerous and morally reprehensible. The decision disregards vitally important environmental efforts to protect both our planet and the population, with consequences that will reverberate for generations. Reneging on the agreement diminishes U.S. leadership and undermines longstanding alliances, placing an undue burden on other nations to address climate change."
Earthjustice president Trip Van Noppen: “Far from putting America first, Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Agreement is a short-sighted sop to the fossil fuel lobby. It is a profound failure of American global leadership. It willfully ignores the climate crisis. It will cost U.S. workers clean energy jobs. History will judge withdrawing from the Paris Agreement as a huge error."
Editor's note: This report will be updated.