Yesterday’s decision by the president of the United States to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord marks a step backward in the global effort to combat global warming.
The U.S. is the leader of the free world and the world’s second-largest emitter of planet-warming greenhouse gases. We believe our nation, along with all the other nations who have pledged their support, has an obligation to maintain our commitment to the pact.
The president said he would immediately seek to renegotiate the accord. We encourage swift action to re-enter the agreement.
I am proud to assure you that the Academy of Natural Sciences will continue our critical research to understand environmental conditions, processes, and their impacts as climate change has the potential to disrupt ecosystems around the world. With your support we can continue to conduct research in support of climate adaptation and mitigation strategies and, importantly, to communicate and translate scientific knowledge to the public.
Our decades of research support the consensus of the scientific community that the earth is warming and climates are changing at an unprecedented rate. The Academy supports the consensus that human activity has a significant impact on these changes, including increased emissions of particular greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide.
The Academy’s mission is to advance research, education, and public engagement in biodiversity and environmental science, and we have an explicit goal to promote positive human impacts through the communication and application of rigorous science.
We applaud the commitments of state and local governments, including the City of Philadelphia, which have pledged to continue to follow the guidelines of the Paris pact.
Rest assured that we are as committed as ever to fulfilling our mission and will continue to engage you in the conversation as we move ahead to tackle our planet’s environmental challenges.
George W. Gephart, Jr.
President and CEO