WASHINGTON — CARE expressed dismay today over the Trump Administration’s executive order on climate change, saying it would roll back policies that mark years of progress. These policies are part of the U.S.’s commitment under the global Paris Agreement on climate change, which is backed by nearly 150 countries, more than 600 companies and investors and civil society. Scrapping critical domestic policies signals that the Trump Administration is not prepared to uphold U.S. commitments and fails to understand the severity of proven climate change trends.
“The world’s poorest people, who have done the least to contribute to the problem, are counting on the U.S. to lead on solutions to the climate crisis. With unprecedented food and water shortages around the globe, now is not the time to back away. We must continue to advocate for policies that empower poor people, especially women and girls, to respond to climate change. It is a global threat that requires action and the U.S. must do its part.”Michelle Nunn, President and CEO of CARE
Climate change is one of today’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. The reality of the climate crisis is a view shared by governments around the world, the private sector, academia, civil society and the majority of the American public. Of the 16 hottest years on record, 15 have been between 2000 and 2016, with this past year being the hottest. Typhoons like Haiyan in the Philippines, severe heat waves in South Asia and the Middle East and the worst drought in 35 years in Southern Africa are indicators of what’s to come more often as a result of an increasing climate crisis.
Climate change also threatens to reverse decades of progress in tackling hunger, improving health outcomes and increasing access to clean water. Given the impact of global warming, agricultural productivity has dropped 1 to 5 percent per decade over the past 30 years, and could continue to drop further. The impacts of climate change on food production — and therefore on diet, weight and health — could lead to 529,000 deaths by 2050.
Women and girls are disproportionately affected by poverty. When access to necessary resources, such as water or food, is limited, women are forced to work harder and longer to provide for their families. Girls may not be able to go to school because they are spending time walking longer distances to gather wood or water; their families have less money to pay for their school fees; or they are simply too hungry to attend.
CARE calls on the Trump Administration to reconsider this executive order and its devastating impact on families and communities around the globe. The United States has a moral responsibility to step up and address the climate threat at home and abroad. This executive order puts the U.S. on the wrong side of history when U.S. leadership is needed most. CARE will continue to advocate for policies, practices and investments that empower women and girls, address inequality and move us together as a global community to an end to poverty and injustice.