Trump withdrawal from Paris Agreement will isolate US as world remains committed to tackling climate change

Press release, 1 June 2017
In response to US President Trump's announcement that the United States has decided to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change, IIED director Andrew Norton said:

"US President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement will be a huge blow to the United States' economy and its global standing. It directly contradicts the president's aims for America to be great again and play a lead role on the world stage.

"Leaders across the world have made clear that the commitment to keep global temperature rise to 2°C, with the aim of staying below 1.5°C, remains a priority. As is widely recognised, this is crucial for economic growth and the health of future generations. 

"In leaving the Paris Agreement and committing to a high-carbon economy, President Trump will not only put the US firmly on a destructive path, but will also damage the country's reputation as a place to do business. As the rest of world works together to deliver the aims of Paris – the US will be left behind.

"President Trump is also betraying his own supporters who saw in his campaign the possibility of better jobs and livelihoods. As Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary General, said this week, 'Those who fail to bet on the green economy will be living in a grey future'."

"While the US remains a party to the agreement – as legally it will take a few years to withdraw – it's vital they honour their climate commitments, particularly the climate finance to help the world's poorest, most vulnerable countries adapt to the destructive impacts of climate change and support them in becoming low carbon economies.

"It is critically important at this time that other governments, companies, cities and local governments stick to the ambition of the Paris Agreement and provide the global leadership role on climate action that the Trump administration has abandoned."

Media enquiries

For more information, contact Liz Carlile on +44 (0)7585 962521 or email

From Monday, 5 June, contact Beth Herzfeld, IIED senior media officer on +44 (0)7557 658 482 or email

Notes to editors

  • Some 679 businesses and investors, representing more than US$20.7 trillion in assets under management, have made commitments through the We Mean Business coalition. Eighty-seven of the world's leading companies committed to 100 per cent renewable power. At Davos more than 530 companies and 100 investors, through the Low-Carbon USA initiative, called on the US administration and Congress to accelerate a low carbon economy and continue participation in the Paris Agreement. Companies include NIKE, HP Inc., IKEA, Johnson & Johnson, Mars, Incorporated, Starbucks, and Unilever, and represent more than US$1 trillion in annual revenue, have headquarters across 44 states and employ 1.8 million people
  • IIED is a policy and action research organisation. It promotes sustainable development to improve livelihoods and protect the environments on which these livelihoods are built. IIED specialises in linking local priorities to global challenges. Based in London, UK it works in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific, with some of the world’s most vulnerable people to strengthen their voice in the decision-making arenas that affect them — from village councils to international conventions