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Energy Foundation CEO and Co-Founder Eric Heitz Responds to President Trump’s Decision to Withdraw from the Paris Agreement

The president’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement undermines the efforts of states, cities, and American businesses to grow the economy and create jobs. America is retreating from its global leadership position on trade, national security, and climate change. This decision is out of step with the long-term economic trends reshaping the energy landscape, consumer demand, and the positions of 190 nations. These accelerating trends are inevitable and will continue—with or without U.S. leadership.

By turning America’s back on major U.S. employers that support the agreement—from Walmart to ExxonMobil to Apple to Berkshire Hathaway to the coal company Cloud Peak Energy and others—the president has put American businesses at a competitive disadvantage against foreign competitors in the global economy. In plain terms, the decision harms America’s economy, and most significantly the fast-growing clean energy sector, which employs 2.6 million people nationwide. But it cannot stop the structural changes propelling clean energy growth. States, cities, and businesses that pursue a clean energy economy will continue to outpace those that do not. This action diminishes America’s authority to lead on a range of global issues, and clears the way for other nations to step in and reap the economic and political benefits of the inevitable global transition to clean energy.

China has affirmed its ongoing commitment to climate action, securing its position as the undisputed global leader. Europe, India, and others are also moving quickly to fill the void. Today’s decision will not stop a global economy accelerating toward a low-carbon future and the health and economic benefits that brings.

Global leaders, cities and states, businesses, and the American public are increasingly demanding more clean energy and urgent action on climate change. Our work is to amplify those voices both in the U.S. and abroad to show the reality that President Trump is denying: There is an inevitable structural transition taking place in the U.S. and global energy economy, led by businesses, consumers, and policymakers from across the political spectrum.