WASHINGTON (JUNE 1, 2017) – President Trump announced today his intent to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, the 2015 milestone accord under which 196 nations committed to pursue efforts to limit the increase in the global average temperature to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

Jamie Rappaport Clark, president and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife, issued the following statement:

“Climate change is real, and it is the greatest challenge facing our planet. Wildlife and their habitat, as well as human communities and economies worldwide, are at risk because of rising seas, severe weather and a rapidly changing environment.

“President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement is short-sighted and narrow-minded. It will set back decades of hard-fought efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions and consign millions to a less prosperous and secure future. We owe a debt to our children and grandchildren to protect our world and secure a clean and prosperous future, and the Paris Agreement was an enormous step towards this goal.

“How can America be great when our leaders ignore and deny the siege we are under by a rapidly changing climate? Today, President Trump has not only turned his back on wildlife, he has also abandoned any pretense of moral leadership in the world.”

Defenders of Wildlife is celebrating 75 years of protecting all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With a nationwide network of nearly 2.2 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit defenders.org/newsroom and follow us on Twitter @Defenders.

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