“Hugely Damaging to our Global Reputation and to Our Environment” – WHRC Statements on Trump Executive Order

Statement from WHRC President Phil Duffy:

Great nations, like great individuals, lead by rallying others to work together to meet threats. The executive order issued today puts the United States in the disgraceful and disadvantageous position of being alone among 195 nations in not recognizing the pervasive threat of global climate change. As the Trump administration tries to pump life into a doomed fossil fuel industry, China is making exponentially increasing investments in renewable energy technologies. This will leave us at a competitive disadvantage when sanity returns to US policy and we seek to modernize our energy infrastructure.

The 2015 Paris Agreement is a remarkable statement of global consensus and cooperation about the grand challenge of climate change. The White House decision to isolate this country from the rest of the world is hugely damaging to our global reputation and to our environment. The global community will continue to move forward in addressing climate change even as the US administration labors to maintain an alternate universe based upon “alternative facts.”

At WHRC, our work better defines the climate challenge by shedding light on critical thresholds and tipping points, and identifies and implements cost-effective mitigation strategies. We and the rest of the science and policy community are ready to work cooperatively with the administration to develop and implement fact-based policies that will protect our environmental health and prosperity.

Statement from WHRC Senior Advisor John Holdren:

President Trump’s executive actions of today, which attempt to undermine progress made under President Obama to combat the menace of human-caused climate change, are yet another example of the new administration’s propensity to let blind ideology “trump” clear- eyed science and good sense.

It is clear beyond reasonable scientific doubt that: (1) climate change is occurring globally at a pace and in a pattern not explained by natural influences; (2) the pace and pattern are explained by human emissions from fossil-fuel burning and land-use change; (3) the ongoing changes in climate are already causing serious harm to human health, property, and livelihoods from increases in heatwaves, wildfires, pest outbreaks, torrential downpours, and the most powerful storms, as well as sea-level rise and shifts in the abundance and distribution of species (those we need, those we love, and those we hate); and (4) future harm in these categories will be far less if the world continues to act collectively to reduce the offending emissions than if it does not.

To ignore these realities, as the Trump administration is now doing, not only will slow global progress on preventing a truly catastrophic degree of climate change; it also will unilaterally surrender the leadership position the United States has enjoyed, under President Obama, in the global effort to meet this common challenge; and, by abandoning the U.S. Government’s efforts to support development and implementation of the most cost-effective remedies, it will ultimately sacrifice this country’s global economic competitiveness as well.


WHRC is an independent research institute where scientists investigate climate change causes, dynamics, and impacts around the globe. The International Center for Climate Governance has recognized WHRC for the past three years as the top-ranked climate change think thank in the world.