We are deeply disappointed by the President’s decision to withdraw the United States from the global climate agreement. The truth is that more than 3 million people currently work in the clean energy industry, and it is one of the fastest growing sectors in the U.S. economy. In fact, clean energy jobs surpass jobs in the fossil fuel industry by 5 to 1. The Paris Agreement is good for people and the planet, and withdrawing only makes us less competitive in leading and benefitting from innovation and investments in infrastructure occurring at an unprecedented scale across the globe.
At the Nathan Cummings Foundation, we are committed to supporting a just transition to an inclusive clean economy, which reduces carbon emissions, mitigates the adverse effects of climate change on future generations, and addresses the needs of people who are already feeling its impacts. Addressing the climate crisis is core to addressing inequality. Personally, I’m feeling more resolve than ever to support the work of people who are fighting for the sustainable and equitable future we need. I reflected yesterday on the many people I have been lucky to work with for over 25 years, from the early days of the President’s Council on Sustainable Development to my first COP in Montreal, and how much progress we have made. We know what it will take to create a sustainable future for all and the choice is still ours. Together, we can build more jobs and sectors of economic growth, improve the air quality and health of our children, and increase access to energy at lower costs.
Despite the President’s actions, we will stand with people all over the world who have made it clear that addressing the climate crisis is a moral and economic imperative for the sustainability of the planet and for future generations. We stand with leaders from urban, rural and indigenous communities, Governors and Mayors, businesses, investors, universities and faith leaders who are redoubling their efforts to fight climate change and lift-up solutions that can transform our economy and the health of our communities. We’ll keep working to encourage the private sector to invest in this energy and economic transformation through grantmaking and active-owner strategies. Recent historic votes from a majority of shareholders at ExxonMobil and Occidental Petroleum demonstrate the pressure that we as shareholders can put on fossil fuel companies to fully account for the impact that climate change will have on their business model.
In the coming weeks, we will be in touch to learn how we can support the work you are doing in response to this moment.