The President announced yesterday that he would be pulling the US from its commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement. We watched the announcement here at RP and reflected on what this action means for the future of our country, organization, and mission to save the rainforests and protect our planet.
The Paris Agreement was a rare act of international solidarity. It is truly incredible that our leaders set their ideologies and national interests aside to address the single greatest challenge facing our planet. I was reminded of this as the RP team and myself anticipated the announcement, I felt dismayed that our country would be exiting a dialogue between every nation for the future of our planet. But, I am charged more now as an individual to act.
It is unfortunate that we our forfeiting our countries position as a leader in combating climate change, however this is now an opportunity for us as citizens to take up that responsibility. Change comes from the roots of society. This is especially true for us here in Austin, as a C40 city, tech capital, cultural force, and state capital we set precedent as the country looks to us for leadership in combating climate change. It is our responsibility to engage with this issue in whatever capacity we can, whether this be through advocacy, working with local organizations, donations, or finding new solutions to reduce carbon emissions.
We felt the weight of the announcement here in the office, but we did not let it drag down our spirits. The responses from our team reflects our resilience and perseverance.
“No one person should get in the way of protecting our planet, because that’s what this is all about. This is a wake-up call for those of us who have been working on this issue, it’s our responsibility and obligation to respond to this decision by educating and activating others to join us. This is the future of our planet, it’s not ok to just sit there.” – Niyanta Spelman
“I felt disappointed, undoubtedly. However, I know that this decision will empower others to fight for our planet more than ever before.” – Delainey Peterson
“This issue of climate change is all of our collective responsibility. There has been a need for action to be taken on the global level for a long time. As a leading country in combating climate change, the US should not avoid this responsibility. We need to act right now.” – Hanee Choi
“I believe in the strength of our collaborative fight against the furthering of climate change and I believe in our capabilities to greatly overcome this disappointing decision. This only means we must work even harder and with even more passion towards the collective good of our global society and our environments.” –Lainey Benson
“I feel very sad about the decision on leaving the Paris Agreement. The US produces the second largest amount of carbon dioxide emissions, after china. Leaving the agreement is a mistake and does not reflect our responsibilities on global climate change as a superpower. The US is supposed to fulfill the obligations of reducing gas emission and mitigating global warming. But fortunately, many people in the US are still doing diligent and crucial work towards protecting the rainforest as well as our environment. Doing what we can every day is our best contribution.” –Huixin Zhan
“To be a leader does not mean that you always get everything you want out of a deal – it sometimes means sacrificing your own interests for what is best for the team or the greater good. In this case, the greater good he ignores might be the fate of the planet and the wellbeing of future generations.” – Tiffany Wang
We will continue to combat climate change here at Rainforest Partnership by working with local communities to protect rainforests. Deforestation produces 15% of total global carbon emissions, your support directly contributes to protecting our planet.