Many US Groups Step Up to Help Realize Paris Accord Goals

Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord may have a silver lining. On face value, the decision negatively impacts the standing of the US in the world, denies the existence of a real problem, encourages other countries and people in the US to not address environmentally responsible actions, sets back US innovation in the growing clean tech marketplace, and sets a bad precedent, among other negatives. On another level, the leadership action is so wrong, it encourages people to get involved and represents a call to action for people in the US and for people all over the world.

It will take a reported 3.5 years (until November 2020) to exit the voluntary Paris Climate Agreement unless Trump uses special measures. So, it represents a clear leadership event but has an impact that is more difficult to measure.

Offsetting this leadership decision, is the leadership action of people that believe the principles behind the voluntary Paris Climate Accord are valid. is a group, as of June 5, 2017, of 1219 such leaders: 125 Cities, 9 states, 902 businesses and investors, 183 colleges and universities representing 120 million Americans and $6.2 Trillion of contribution to the US economy. Bloomberg Philanthropies has pledged $15 million to pay the US share of UN expenses, for the next two years, to the UN of staying in the agreement, multiple firms and industries have pledged to reduce carbon emissions, 19 state attorney generals and the Mayor of Pittsburgh, has announced solidarity for the Paris accord and taking necessary carbon reductions actions to make a difference for our planet.

President of MIT L. Rafael Reif in discussing the leadership actions in response to Trump’s decision said, “I am encouraged, however, to see so much leadership at the state and city level, in industry, and at the university level…” It is up to all of us to step up and take necessary actions and demonstrate environmental leadership. By filling in the leadership gap, we create the silver lining to an otherwise difficult situation.