Statement on President Trump’s Decision to Withdraw from the Paris Agreement
The Medical Society Consortium on Climate & Health has issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the historic 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change is the wrong choice that puts Americans at unnecessary risk. Climate change is the greatest public health challenge of our time and harms the health and well-being of some of the most vulnerable citizens—especially the elderly and children.
We know that climate change is happening and is already harming the health of Americans and other people around the world. The nation’s pediatricians, internists, family physicians, obstetrician and gynecologists, geriatricians, allergists, and others, have come together to alert the country that climate change puts the health of millions of people at risk. It is affecting the health of Americans we see every day in our practices.
The Paris Agreement is science-based and emphasizes clean energy and pollution reduction, which will improve health immediately and is a crucial tool with the potential to reduce the odds of more dramatic harms to health down the road.
Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement will have consequences. Americans – doctors and patients alike – must be on guard against the health harms from climate change. Specifically, climate change leads to injuries and deaths due to extreme storms, reduced air quality associated with wildfires and/or allergens, severe heat waves, the spread of vector-borne diseases such as those carried by mosquitoes, adverse obstetric outcomes, and recurrent flooding with the tides due to rising sea levels. The most immediately vulnerable are children, pregnant women, those who work outdoors, people with chronic heart, lung, or mental health conditions, the elderly and people with limited financial resources.
The Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, composed of 12 U.S. medical societies representing over half the physicians in the United States, launched recently with a mission to inform the public and policymakers about the harmful health effects of climate change, and about the immediate and long-term health benefits associated with reducing greenhouse gas emissions and other preventive and protective measures. President Trump’s duty is to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our people and our future. Withdrawal from the Paris Agreement ignores that duty.
Statements by our Member Societies: