As UN Convention on Climate Change in Europe is Underway, Shaheen Leads Group of Senators in Letter to Trump Urging Reconsideration of Paris Climate Accord Withdrawal

December 10, 2019

(Washington, DC) — U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) led a group of 26 Senators in a letter to President Donald Trump, urging him to reconsider his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement. In their letter, the Senators sound the alarm on the crisis of climate change and the damage that will be inflicted on Americans for future generations unless immediate action is taken. The Senators warned the President against ceding U.S. leadership on this issue, and admonished him for failing to honor his commitment to work with Democrats to renegotiate the Paris Climate Accord or to craft a new deal. The letter comes as the 25th United Nations Climate Change conference takes place in Madrid this week. 

The Senators wrote, “As the second largest global emitter of greenhouse gases, and the largest historical emitter, it is imperative that the United States assume our rightful place as a global leader in the fight to combat climate change, yet with this action you are ceding American leadership to other nations at great political and economic costs.” 

The letter also emphasized the national security implications related to the President’s withdrawal, underscoring the damage done to the United States’ reputation by reneging on an international commitment. The Senators’ letter further illustrates the outcry from Americans across various sectors, including the business community, citing more than 2,200 U.S. businesses including major companies such as Google. The Senators conclude their letter by reminding the President of the overwhelming number of Americans who believe the United States should participate in the Paris Climate Agreement – three out of every four registered voters – or 77 percent. 

The letter was also signed by U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chris Coons (D-DE), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Tom Udall (D-NM), Angus King (I-ME), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Patty Murray (D-WA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Bob Casey (D-PA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Jacky Rosen (D-NV). 

The letter can be read in full here. 

Senator Shaheen has led efforts in the Senate to combat climate change. Shaheen introduced bipartisan legislation – the International Climate Change Accountability Act -  that would prevent the President from using funds to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Shaheen traveled to Paris to participate in high-level discussions at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference that led to the international Paris Climate Accord. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen has historically helped secure increased funding for several energy efficiency and renewable energy programs at the Department of Energy. Shaheen has also consistently spoken out in opposition to the President’s anti-environment agenda, and has fought his continued efforts to invalidate scientific evidence of climate change. 

This week, Shaheen also led a bipartisan group of Senators in a letter to Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in support of the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) and their commitment to global efforts to thwart climate change. That letter can be read here.