If You Support The Paris Climate Deal, Call Your Representative

by Seth Millstein
Astrid Riecken/Getty Images News/Getty Images

In a blow to global efforts to fight global warming, President Trump announced Thursday that he will withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord. Although this wasn't unexpected, it was nonetheless a huge step back in the worldwide fight against climate change, and not surprisingly, proponents of combating climate change are not happy about it. If you're one such person, and would like to contact your representative about the Paris climate accord, there are many ways to do so.

Every American is represented by a number of elected officials: two senators, a congressperson, a governor, and any number of state and local officials, depending on the municipality. It might seem taxing to try and find contact information for all of them, but thankfully, this page right here allows you to do just that. It takes a couple steps, as the contact information for different officials is spread across different websites, but all of those links are right up there, and it shouldn't take more than a minute to find all of the information you need.

If you do plan to get in touch with one of your representatives, a phone call is more effective than an email, in large part because phone calls are a lot harder to ignore.

If you oppose Trump's decision to withdraw from the agreement, you're not alone. Hours after Trump made his decision official, the Democratic governors of California, New York, and Washington announced that they will form a coalition in order to ensure that their own states comply with the Paris agreement's requirements. In addition to this, 68 mayors representing 38 million Americans signed a joint letter pledging to "adopt, honor, and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement."

This is largely in line with what former President Obama, who helped negotiate the accords in 2015, suggested on the eve of Trump's announcement. In a statement Thursday, Obama said, "Even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future, I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got."

During his announcement, Trump justified the decision to withdraw on the grounds that he "was elected by voters of Pittsburgh, not Paris." However, the county in which Pittsburgh resides voted for Hillary Clinton, not Trump, and a 2016 Yale survey found that a majority of Pittsburgh residents support CO2 limits and other policies aimed at fighting climate change. The mayor of Pittsburgh signed the letter pledging to abide by the Paris accord's requirements.

In 2015, 195 countries signed the Paris climate accord. The agreement is non-binding; although it establishes minimum standards and benchmarks for countries to reach with regard to their climate policies, it imposes no penalty for those that fail to reach these goals. Nevertheless, Trump's decision has enormous symbolic importance; it casts doubt on America's commitment to both fighting climate change and abiding by international agreements, and could easily compel other countries to withdraw from the pact as well.