1 Jun 2017

Trump pulls US out of Paris Agreement - BirdLife's reaction

Donald Trump has pulled the United States out of the Paris Agreement - an international treaty adopted by nearly 200 countries to limit the impacts of one of the biggest threats to people and nature of our time - climate change. BirdLife International, along with Audubon (BirdLife in the US), has issued a statement reacting to this shocking news

Donald Trump © Gage Skidmore / Flickr
By Alex Dale

BirdLife International is deeply disappointed by US President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. Not only is this decision naïve and isolationist, it is wholly immoral.

The Paris Agreement is critical for the future of our planet. It provides a strong framework for taking ambitious action to mitigate climate change, and to help people and ecosystems across the globe adapt to its impacts.

The Paris Agreement, adopted by almost 200 countries, is too robust to be broken by any one nation. Country after country – both developed and developing – have reaffirmed their commitment to implement the Agreement. Trump’s withdrawal from the Agreement will not stop global action on climate change.

Birds are powerful messengers showing us how our climate is changing”, says Patricia Zurita, CEO, BirdLife International. “A quarter of species studied in detail already show negative responses to recent climate change and 2,300 bird species worldwide are highly vulnerable to further change.”

“Scrapping the Paris climate agreement is an abdication of American leadership in the fight against the biggest threat facing people and birds,” says David Yarnold, President & CEO, Audubon (BirdLife’s Partner in the US).

“Our kids and grandkids are the losers in this misguided decision. So are 314 species of birds that Audubon already knows are at risk because of climate change. We don't believe that's what Americans voted for in November."

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While the US abdicates their leadership, other countries are stepping forward. BirdLife congratulates the EU and China on their commitment to forge a new alliance and provide global leadership on climate change.

BirdLife International will continue to work tirelessly with our 122 national Partners across the globe to deliver climate solutions for nature and people…with or without Trump.

For more information about the impacts of climate change, and the solutions that the BirdLife Partnership is pioneering, please read our global synthesis report, The Messengers.



  • Agreement adopted in 2015 in Paris.

  • Ratified by 147 Parties to date

  • Entered into force on 4 November 2016 (record time and much before expected)

  • The adoption of the Paris Agreement in 2015 was a major success in multilateralism. One hundred and ninety-five governments committed: to hold average global temperature “well below 2°C” and pursue efforts to hold it within 1.5°C above preindustrial levels; to increase the ability to adapt to climate change and deliver climate-resilient, low-carbon development; and to make finance flows sufficient to achieve these objectives.

  • For the first time in history we have a global climate change agreement that recognises the critical role of forests, oceans and other ecosystems in combatting climate change and helping communities to adapt. The Agreement also stresses the need to ensure the integrity of ecosystems and the protection of biodiversity when taking action to address climate change. This is critical for safeguarding ecosystems and ensuring that climate change actions are truly sustainable.

  • Cities, regions and businesses have all made commitments to address climate change and have endorsed the Agreement.