President Trump announced last week that the United States would pull out from its prior commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions signed by 194 other countries, sparking response from various organizations and businesses that operate in Colorado.
“We are deeply saddened by the decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement,” Rob Katz, Vail Resorts’ chairman and CEO, said in a statement. “We have a unique responsibility to protect the incredible natural landscapes and environment that surround our mountain resorts and those across our planet. Vail Resorts will redouble our efforts to find significant ways to minimize our carbon footprint through reducing our energy use to help address one of the most serious challenges facing our worldwide community.”
The threat of the nation no longer taking part in the effort to offset global warming also drew the ire of several environmental groups.
“President Trump is trying to kick America to the sidelines in the race to protect our health and the planet,” Garrett Garner-Wells, director of Environment Colorado, said in a news release. “History will judge this action harshly. Now more than ever, our governors and mayors must charge ahead to tackle the climate crisis.”
Jon Goldin-Dubois, president of Western Resource Advocates, added that President Trump’s action was “shortsighted.”
“Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of the 21st century, and its effects, like drought and increased wildfires are already being seen here in the American West,” he said in a statement. “Abdicating leadership on climate issues will not make the problem go away. If the president of the United States fails to lead, the American people and leaders in our western states will.”
Per the terms of the original agreement, countries may not withdraw from the accord until three years after it went into effect, and must provide a year’s notice from that time. That means that the formal exit cannot begin before November 2019 and would most likely not take effect until at November 2020.