Statement From Former Vice President Al Gore On The Fifth Anniversary Of The Paris Climate Agreement

“Five years ago today, 195 countries and the European Union gathered to adopt the Paris Agreement, an unprecedented act of global cooperation to tackle the climate crisis. Despite broad consensus on the need for urgent action, in 2017, the Trump Administration made the reckless and short-sighted decision to withdraw the United States from that historic agreement, a decision that came into effect this year.

“But, that futile act was short lived. No one person can stop the undeniable momentum for a sustainable future. Led by a wave of youth voters, the American people rejected inaction on the climate crisis and voted for millions of new clean energy jobs, less pollution, and protections for frontline communities. On February 19, President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris will officially re-enter the Paris agreement and begin the necessary work of rebuilding our trust and reputation among the global community.

“In the five years since the Paris Agreement was signed, and in the wake of the Trump Administration’s abdication of leadership, we have seen a groundswell of support for its highest goals. Cities, states, and businesses around the world have embraced bolder, more ambitious emissions reduction targets, and activists organized to demand action from their leaders. Advancements in technology, green infrastructure, and sustainable agriculture have forged new paths towards a more sustainable economy, and thanks to the growth of clean energy, the grip of the fossil fuel industry grows weaker every day. We have all the tools we need to attack this problem head-on and the momentum is on our side. This is reason to hope that we can – and will – solve the climate crisis, despite the enormous headwinds we face.

“We are staring down the barrel of concurrent crises: a deadly pandemic, economic deterioration, the continued stain of racial injustice, and of course, the ever-present threat of the climate crisis. Ensuring the future for generations to come depends on the steps we take today to enable a green recovery and transition to a clean energy economy that works for everyone. The Paris Agreement is an important blueprint for the scale and pace of action needed to preserve our future. It is incumbent upon our leaders to uphold the promises they’ve made to the rest of the world through this agreement. Our collective future depends on it.”