Vital the US stays part of action on climate change

Press release, 10 November 2016
As Donald Trump wins the US election, IIED director Andrew Norton calls for the United States to continue to be a leader in the fight against climate change.

On the election of Donald Trump to be the next US president, IIED director Andrew Norton, said: "The election of Donald Trump to the United States presidency has raised acute concern in relation to future global action to curb climate change and help people in the poorest, most vulnerable countries cope with its devastating effects. This concern is due to his record of scepticism regarding climate change and climate action. 

"We hope that once Donald Trump takes office, he recognises the importance of the US continuing to be a leader in the fight against climate change. This is vital both to US economic prosperity and the health and well-being of the world's children and future generations. It is particularly important for people in the poorest countries who did the least to create the problem but are the most exposed to its destructive force.

"It is hugely important that the US remains part of the United Nations process to tackle climate change and willingly upholds its commitment to the Paris Agreement. Across the world, governments' support for the aims of Paris is clear. 

"Already we see that leadership on climate change action has shifted from the developed to the developing world. But action by all countries is critical to keep temperature rise to within 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Increases above that level will cause severe damage to vulnerable countries and communities.

"It is critical that under Mr Trump's presidency the US chooses not to be left behind in global action against climate change and all the social and economic benefits it will bring, but that it stays engaged and part of the solution."

Media enquiries

For more information contact Beth Herzfeld (, IIED senior media officer - Tel: +44 (0)7557 658 482

Notes to editors

  • The United States Government ratified the Paris Agreement on 3 September 2016. Under the agreement's conditions, signatories cannot withdraw from the commitment for three years from the date of signing, with a one-year cooling off period.
  • 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.