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PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute Experts Urge President Trump to Withdraw from the Paris Climate Treaty

April 18, 2017

"The only people who believe global warming is man-made and dangerous are the scientifically illiterate reporters/activists in the media. The left tried to politicize the science and make a case for their agenda, and they failed." -Joseph Bast

President Donald Trump today will meet with senior advisors and members of his cabinet to discuss the future of the Paris Climate Treaty, approved at COP-21 in December 2015. Then-President Obama never submitted the treaty to the United States Senate for ratification but began implementing its mandates unilaterally in 2016. When he was running for president, Trump promised to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Treaty.

More than 300 scientists have urged Donald Trump to remove the United States from the treaty. Heartland’s work on the Paris agreement includes this webpage, this opinion piece by Research Fellow H. Sterling Burnett, and this Research & Commentary on COP-21 and the Paris agreement.

The following statements from climate policy experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact New Media Specialist Billy Aouste at and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 847/447-7554.

“President Trump should run, not walk, away from the Paris Climate Treaty, for three main reasons. First, there is no scientific basis for the agreement. The only people who believe global warming is man-made and dangerous are the scientifically illiterate reporters/activists in the old media. The left tried to politicize the science and make a case for their political agenda, and they failed. Most scientists do not believe global warming is a crisis that merits current efforts aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, much less the draconian cuts envisioned by the Paris Climate Treaty.

“Second, the Paris Climate Treaty puts America last, the exact opposite of what candidate Trump and now President Trump has promised. The treaty would require the United States to make massive reductions in emissions and pay billions of dollars in ‘climate reparations’ to Third World dictators, while requiring no emission cuts from developing countries including India and China. Why should the United States pay hundreds of billions of dollars to developing countries at a time when the U.S. government is running massive debts, when economic growth is slower for a longer period of time than at any time since the Great Depression, and when American workers are losing out to lower-paid workers in China and India?

“Third, the Paris Climate Treaty is a job killer. Reducing emissions destroys jobs by increasing energy costs, which impoverishes American consumers and makes U.S. manufacturers less competitive with foreign producers. Low energy prices in the United States due to low coal, oil, and natural gas prices fueled nearly all the economic growth that occurred during the Obama years. If Obama-era restrictions on developing natural resources are lifted, billions of dollars in new manufacturing investment in the United States will occur and millions of jobs will be created.

“Please, Mr. President, withdraw the United States from this anti-American treaty. Better yet, pull this noxious weed out by the roots by withdrawing the United States from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), a process that would be both faster and more certain to keep the hands of governments, both foreign and domestic, off our energy in the future.”

Joseph Bast
The Heartland Institute

“Were we to remain in the Paris Climate Treaty, it would give the world the message that even under President Trump, pacifism remains the way of the United States. The treaty is a plan to redistribute wealth in the world with absolutely no benefit to the planet’s environment. And it ultimately hurts the poorest of the poor because it will forever cheat them of the low-cost fossil fuel that has allowed most of the world to prosper.”

Jay Lehr
Science Director
The Heartland Institute

“For the last eight years, we had a president who cared more about appealing to European allies than taking care of people struggling at home. On the campaign trail, then-candidate Donald Trump promised he would withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement and put American workers first.

“The Paris Climate Agreement embodies everything wrong with former President Obama’s polices that caused thousands of people to lose their jobs and put Americans last. What’s worse, the supposed environmental benefits of this treaty are essentially zero.

“Surrendering is for the French. Americans should not surrender their sovereignty to a foreign body they did not elect. Chinese manufacturers would be tickled pink if the United States stays in this agreement, but it does nothing but put the United States at a disadvantage to the rest of the world.”

Isaac Orr
Research Fellow, Energy and Environment Policy
The Heartland Institute

“As part of his ‘American First’ economic, energy, and foreign policy, President Trump should keep his campaign promise and pull out of the fatally flawed, costly, Paris Climate Agreement. The agreement puts U.S. companies at the mercy of international competitors in China, India, and beyond. We cut emissions and stifle economic growth while their economies keep chugging along and spewing emissions – and all for no global climate gain.

“Going farther, Trump should end America’s participation in the entire United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which has done nothing but stifle innovation and economic progress while empowering international bureaucrats in enriching scientists and politicians on the backs of the American taxpayers. Hundreds of billions of dollars have been squandered, and there has been no reduction in poverty or improvement in environmental quality to show for it. Just a lot of rich bureaucrats and heads of NGOs travelling first class to exotic destinations, staying at five-star hotels and eating expensive meals. The money spent on all of these meetings could have saved thousands of lives each year. These meetings, not factory smokestacks, is where the real hot air is spewed.”

H. Sterling Burnett
Research Fellow, Environment & Energy Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Environment & Climate News

“One of Donald Trump’s pledges to the American people when he was campaigning for the presidency was he would withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Treaty. Now that he is president, it is time for him to make good on that promise. Simply, one cannot ‘Make America Great Again’ if America is still shackled to the Paris Climate Treaty, which seeks emissions reductions from the United States that are incompatible with economic growth and job creation.

“Instead of keeping the United States tied to this albatross of an agreement that promotes even more taxes, regulations, and subsidies aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions, President Trump should withdraw the United States from the Paris Climate Treaty and support sound environmental stewardship that is pro-energy, pro-environment, and pro-jobs. Doing so would produce enormous economic dividends that would genuinely improve people’s lives.”

Tim Benson
Policy Analyst
The Heartland Institute

Joseph Bast is a Senior Fellow at The Heartland Institute. He cofounded Heartland in 1984, serving as executive director then as president & CEO until January 2018. His research and writing focuses on climate change and energy policy. @JosephLBast
Jay Lehr is an internationally renowned speaker, scientist, Senior Policy Advisor with the International Climate Science Coalition and Senior Science Analyst at CFACT.
Isaac Orr is a policy fellow at the Center of the American Experiment on mining and energy issues and a policy advisor for The Heartland Institute. @thefrackingguy
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., is the Director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News.
Tim Benson joined The Heartland Institute in September 2015 as a policy analyst in the Government Relations Department. @HeartlandGR