APAs in Congress Respond to U.S. Withdrawal from Climate Accord

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on June 1 announced his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement, which was adopted by 195 countries to keep climate change below 2 degrees Celsius.

Following are reactions from Asian Pacific American members of Congress (some statements were issued prior to the announcement):

Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii): “President Trump’s decision … is irresponsible, hasty, and short-sighted. In Hawaii we understand why it’s important to take care of our land, ocean, and air – our way of life depends on it. Today, it’s more important than ever for states like Hawaii to boldly take the lead on clean energy innovation and good stewardship of our aina [land].”

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.): “We can all agree that all people should be able to breathe clean air and live in a safe and healthy environment. Pulling out of the Paris Agreement is an irrational decision that is a disastrous step backward, threatens the future viability of our planet for future generations, and abdicates our 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.”

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.): “Climate change is one of the gravest environmental, economic and national security threats of our time, and we’re already experiencing its devastating effects in Illinois and across the country. Our military leaders have long understood that increased famine and drought caused by climate change is contributing to political instability across the globe – but it seems that our president does not.

“Instead of leading the way towards a more sustainable future, he is prepared to retreat from our global responsibilities and deliver yet another a self-inflicted blow to America’s credibility on the world stage by having our country join Syria and Nicaragua as the only three countries not party to this agreement. While the rest of the world moves forward with trillions of dollars of investments in clean energy jobs and technologies, America is losing its influence and our economy is being left behind.”

Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena): “Walking away from the Paris Climate Agreement signals that our nation is relinquishing our leadership role is safeguarding our planet. The decision to remove us from this critical agreement is a moral failing. The U.S. is one of the two largest carbon producers in the world. Our energy policies are contributing to rising ocean levels, more violent storms, and shrinking