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Black Chamber Calls for Trump to Extinguish Paris Climate Agreement

In an open letter published in The Hill dedicated to the Trump administration, the National Black Chamber of Commerce urged President Trump to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement formerly negotiated by President Obama.

Citing that the agreement would “undermine” the American economy, Chamber of Commerce President Harry C. Alford referred to the Paris deal as being “skewed” against the U.S., adding that it would impose trillions of dollars of regulatory costs on American businesses while allowing competitors in China and India to increase their own greenhouse gas emissions.

“On behalf of the millions of African Americans who have a stake in the businesses represented by the National Black Chamber of Commerce, I respectfully call on you today to keep yet another critical promise to the American people: Withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement,” Alford wrote. “The U.S. will always have a seat at the table with the United Nations and given our membership in the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and with entities such as the Green Climate Fund, what we cannot afford is to willingly sacrifice our place as global economic leader to appease international bureaucrats who would seek to dictate what kinds of energy we use in America and how, when, and why we use them.”

During his campaign, Trump promised to cancel the agreement. However, his administration is now debating whether this is still the right path. Alford insists that the president should end the debate and withdraw.

The agreement was officially adopted in September after the U.S. and China formally joined the Paris plan which needed at least 55 countries representing at least 55 percent of global emissions to solidify one of the most notably ambitious climate change agreements in history.

In a formal correspondence to the American people, former President Obama remarked on the decision that led the U.S. and China to finally join the Paris Climate Agreement.

“We are here together because we believe that for all the challenges that we face, the growing threat of climate change could define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other challenge,” Obama said. “One of the reasons I ran for this office was to make sure America does its part to protect this planet for future generations. Over the past seven and a half years, we’ve transformed the U.S. into a global leader in the fight against climate change. But this is not a fight that any one country, no matter how powerful, can take alone.

“That’s why last December’s Paris Agreement was so important,” he said. “Nearly 200 nations came together with a strong, enduring framework to set the world on a course to a low-carbon future.

“There is no shortage of cynics who thought the agreement would not happen,” Obama said. “But they missed two big things: The investments that we made to allow for incredible innovation in clean energy, and the strong, principled diplomacy over the course of years that we were able to see pay off in the Paris Agreement. The U.S. and China were central to that effort. Over the past few years, our joint leadership on climate has been one of the most significant drivers of global action.”

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Lauren M. Poteat

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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