The fallout continues from U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision earlier this month to withdraw the country from the Paris climate change accord.
The International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) issued a statement last week stating that the organization “is dismayed” that the United States seeks to renegotiate or withdraw from the accord.
“The world expects that scientific excellence and scientific knowledge will be incorporated into decision-making and that internationally binding decisions, once made, will be honored by governments and their successors,” the 12 June IUGG statement reads. IUGG, established in 1919, is the oldest nongovernmental international scientific organization dealing with Earth and its environment.
By withdrawing from its leadership role in the Paris accord, the United States “has lost the opportunity to help reduce emissions,” the statement continues. “IUGG therefore encourages the United States to continue to meet the aspirations of the Paris Agreement through the efforts of the states, cities, industries and citizens.”
The IUGG statement also notes that the decision by President Trump to terminate U.S. funding to the Green Climate Fund to assist developing nations with climate change–related investments is “as damaging, or more damaging than a potential US withdrawal” from the Paris accord.
Paris Withdrawal Causes “Serious Damage”
Trump’s plan to withdraw from the Paris agreement “was not only a political decision, but a serious damage to international scientific cooperation,” IUGG secretary-general Alik Ismail-Zadeh told Eos. “Hence IUGG could not stay silent and needed to issue a statement on this topic.”
Ismail-Zadeh said the plan for IUGG to make a public statement was initiated on 3 June, a couple of days after Trump announced that he would withdraw the United States from the climate agreement.
“IUGG assesses soberly the situation and believes that this statement would not have a significant impact on the decision of the current U.S. government,” he told Eos. “But IUGG wanted to let the international scientific community know that we are against such political games related to our future and the future of new generations.”
On a personal note, Ismail-Zadeh said that everybody has the right to criticize any agreement. However, he added, “I think that it does not mean that the president of one of the world’s greatest countries should ignore the opinion of the world’s scientific and political communities and impose his own opinion on top of it.”
—Randy Showstack (@RandyShowstack), Staff Writer