One year on united action to keep Paris Agreement on track brings hope – but we still need the US

Press release, 1 June 2018
On the first anniversary of President Trump announcing that the US would leave the Paris Agreement (1 June), IIED director Andrew Norton said:

“Since President Trump announced the US would quit the Paris Agreement, millions of people’s lives have been devastated by the impacts of climate change. The repeated commitment by many national and local governments and businesses to keep the landmark agreement and show it can withstand the US president’s decision brings hope.

“But however encouraging and necessary this combined action is, we need the US to stay in the treaty. As one of the world’s biggest contributors to climate change, the US will be turning its back on its responsibility both to reduce its own emissions and to help the poorest countries adapt to and even thrive in the face of climate change if it does actually leave the agreement in 2020.

“Without the crucial funds the US pledged, it is hard to see how the women, children and men in vulnerable countries can develop in better ways. Even at this stage, the US’s declared absence means it will not make its next US$2 billion contribution to the Green Climate Fund. This makes it less likely the rich countries will achieve the urgently needed $100 billion a year they committed.

“Without this money and the changes needed for funds to reach the local level and address local communities’ needs, the Paris Agreement ‘rule book’ that is being painstakingly negotiated and the victory of the Talanoa Dialogue will matter little.

“Without the money and support crucial to delivering the Paris Agreement, the global effort to address climate change may be fatally undermined. It is vital President Trump reconsiders and puts the planet back on track to stop dangerous climate change.”

Media enquiries

For more information, contact Beth Herzfeld, IIED head of media, on +44 (0)7557 658 482 or email

Notes to editors

  • IIED estimates that less than 10% of the US$17 billion climate finance committed from international climate funds by 2016 were prioritised for local-level activities. Committing these funds to every level – national, regional and local – is key. It is vital that the imbalance is addressed and more of this money is channelled to the local level. See 'Delivering real change: getting international climate finance to the local level'
  • Moody’s and other credit rating agencies downgraded the most vulnerable countries’ long-term credit ratings because climate change has made them even more vulnerable, making them an even greater investment risk
  • IIED is a policy and action research organisation. It promotes sustainable development to improve livelihoods and protect the environments on which these livelihoods are built. IIED specialises in linking local priorities to global challenges. Based in London, UK it works in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific, with some of the world’s most vulnerable people to strengthen their voice in the decision-making arenas that affect them – from village councils to international conventions. 

Share and have your say: