Paris Press Release

Vermonters Respond to Trump’s Decision to Pull U.S. Out of Paris Climate Agreement

Will urge strong local climate action, including 100% clean energy and just economic transition

WHAT: Hundreds of Vermonters opposing President Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement

WHEN: Friday, June 2, 5:30-7:00 pm 

March starts at 5:45 pm, Rally including speakers Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman, Senator Christopher Pearson, and Representative Diana González at 6:30 pm

WHERE: Democracy Square, Main St between Church St. and S. Winooski Ave, Burlington, VT

CONTACTS: Dylan Cullen, 350Vermont, dylanmcullen@gmail.com, 978-821-5532; Steve Crowley, Sierra Club of Vermont, 802-881-6536

Burlington, VT – On Friday, June 2, hundreds of Vermonters are expected to join Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman, Senator Christopher Pearson, Representative Diana González, and grassroots climate advocacy groups 350Vermont, Sierra Club of Vermont, 350Burlington, and Energy Independent Vermont to oppose President Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the international Paris Climate Agreement that aims to provide a mechanism for the global community to reduce carbon emissions.

Mayors from 68 cities, including Burlington, said in a letter to President Trump that they will “adopt, honor, and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement.” The mayors continued,“We will intensify efforts to meet each of our cities’ current climate goals, push for new action to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target, and work together to create a 21st century clean energy economy. We will continue to lead.” Several governors have also voiced the continued support of their states for the goals of the Paris Agreement, and senators in California have called on Governor Jerry Brown to convene a climate summit with Mexico and Canada. “By withdrawing from the Paris Accords, President Trump has made a bad deal for Vermont,” says Tom Hughes of Energy Independent Vermont. “His recklessness threatens the Vermont economy and Vermonters’ health.  But, even as the President of the United States moves America backward, there remains hope.  While Vermont can’t endorse the Paris Accords on its own, we can live up to the values it engenders and the goals that it sets. Doing so will create jobs and strengthen our local economy – and that’s a good deal for Vermont.” Vermont legislators have considered various legislative measures including carbon dividends, a carbon pollution tax, and requiring state agencies to consider climate change impacts in State procurement decisions.

Brian Tokar of 350Vermont notes that “Paris raised many problems of its own, but they certainly don’t justify withdrawing from the process as the consequences of an increasingly unstable climate wreak havoc on communities around the world.” Scientists have estimated that 80% of known fossil fuel deposits would need to remain in the ground in order to meet the Agreement’s target of keeping the earth’s temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial temperatures.

Organizers say they will work to ensure that Vermont continues toward an 100% clean energy economy that works for everyone, and will mobilize to support local and state policies that reduce carbon emissions and resist the administration’s efforts to undermine federal policies that protect our air, water, and climate. "We have always known that any movement from government leadership would be too little, and responding to climate change will take pressure from individuals, cities and towns, and states,” says Steve Crowley of Sierra Club of Vermont. “It's now all the more clear that the public outcry seen in Climate Marches here and around the country needs to turn into strong and effective political action.  Sierra Club and other groups are here to make that happen."

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About 350Vermont: 350Vermont is a statewide organization in Vermont working to build a grassroots movement to reverse climate change. 350Vermont’s mission is to catalyze the cultural and systemic transformation needed to reverse climate change and return to 350 ppm of carbon in the atmosphere. Although we are an affiliated group of 350.org with a similar mission, 350VT is an independent organization, with local campaigns to divest the state pension fund, advocate for a carbon pollution tax, and stop any expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure.

About 350Burlington: 350Burlington is a group affiliated with 350Vermont who meets regularly and organize together to grow a stronger climate justice movement in the greater Burlington area. 350Burlington’s focus is on taking action for climate justice in Chittenden County to make our area a strong model for cities and towns around the country.

About Vermont Chapter of Sierra Club: The Vermont Chapter of the Sierra Club is a volunteer-led affiliate of the national Sierra Club. The Sierra Club is America's largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.1 million members and supporters nationwide and 9,000-plus members and supporters in Vermont. The Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation.

About Energy Independent Vermont:Energy Independent Vermont is a growing coalition of environmental organizations, Vermont businesses and business associations, academic leaders, low-income advocates and Town Energy Committees all dedicated to a simple goal: address the problem of climate change by putting a price on pollution.