U.S. quitting Paris deal not to derail global efforts against climate change: UNEP chief

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-02 12:19:43|Editor: Zhang Dongmiao
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NAIROBI, June 1 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. decision to withdraw from the Paris deal on climate change will not stop global efforts to tackle the common challenge, said United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Executive Director Erik Solheim on Thursday.

"The science on climate change is perfectly clear: we need more action, not less. This a global challenge. Every nation has a responsibility to act and to act now," he said in a statement.

Solheim said that some 190 countries are showing strong determination to work with major players in fighting global warming to protect this and future generations.

According to the statement, there is incredible momentum on climate action from individual states, cities, the private sector and citizens, and a single political decision will not derail this unparalleled effort.

In a speech at the White House earlier on Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump announced that the United States will completely quit the Paris deal, which set emission cutback targets of countries for a low-carbon future of the planet.

The Nairobi-based UNEP urged all parties to redouble their efforts. "We will work with everyone willing to make a difference," said Solheim.

"Climate action is not a burden, but an unprecedented opportunity. A shift to renewable energy creates more jobs, better paid jobs and better quality jobs. Decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels will build more inclusive and robust economies. It will save millions of lives and slash the huge health care cost of pollution," he pointed out.

"Committing to climate action means helping countries like Iraq and Somalia on the front line of extremism and terrorism. It means helping coastal communities from Louisiana to the Solomon Islands. It means protecting food security and building stability to avoid adding yet more refugees to what is already an unprecedented global humanitarian crisis," he added.

The statement also made it clear that the Paris Agreement reached in December 2015 is founded on clear evidence, solid science and incredible international collaboration. It is expected to put aside differences to tackle a common, monumental challenge.

"The reversal of damage to the ozone layer proves that such a global effort can succeed. Ultimately, this is an investment in our own survival that no one can afford to abandon," it said.