West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio, U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson — who recently chaired a Senate subcommittee hearing in West Palm on sea level change — raised their voices against President Trump’s decision Thursday to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord.
Former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alexander Acosta, who Trump recently appointed U.S. Labor Secretary, supported the President’s decision.
“The announcement that the U.S. is withdrawing from the historic Paris Climate Accord is more than a disappointment. It is downright troubling. This move signals that the U.S. will no longer be a leader on climate change and rolls back the commitments made to protect South Florida and the world from the harmful effects of CO2 emissions that lead to climate change. The City of West Palm Beach will continue to move forward as a model of resilience. We will continue to support climate action to meet the Paris Agreement.”
Muoio, along with the city’s Office of Sustainability, has been a strong supporter of city measures to address climate change and sea level rise.
A release from the Mayor’s office noted that, in anticipation of the White House announcement, she:
Signed a joint letter by the Global Covenant of Mayors in support of climate change action.
Signed a joint letter by Climate Mayors to the UNFCC in support of climate change action.
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Florida, in April chaired a two-hour-long hearing in West Palm Beach city hall of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, of which he is ranking member. Nelson introduced the hearing by noting that, with 1,200 miles of coastline, and three-quarters of its residents living near its coasts, Florida is more vulnerable than any other state in the continental U.S. to rising sea levels already causing increasingly frequent flooding.
On Thursday Nelson decried on the President’s decision to withdraw from the climate agreement:
“This is a huge mistake. Sea-level rise caused by the Earth heating up is a real threat to Florida. If the U.S. isn’t going to do its part to combat climate change, then the rest of the world won’t do theirs and millions of Floridians living along the coast will be at risk.”
Congresswoman Lois Frankel, former mayor of West Palm Beach, echoed those sentiments:
“Leaving the Paris Climate Agreement is both dumb and dangerous. Americans should lead the way in the mission to reduce our carbon footprint and protect our planet for future generations. Abandoning this agreement ignores the fact that an overwhelming number of scientists believe that human beings are significant contributors to global warming, a condition that will negatively affect our health, economy, and national security.
“Rejection of the Paris Agreement puts us at odds with and sends a message of contempt to the nearly 200 countries that signed the treaty. It also puts the United States at a disadvantage in the race to produce green technology and the millions of American jobs that would come with it. I am hopeful that our local and state governments, businesses large and small, and individual citizens of good conscience will rebuke this ill-advised action by President Trump with their own efforts to meet what many call the greatest challenge facing human survival,” Frankel said.
Standing with Trump was U.S. Secretary of Labor Acosta, who said he and the president are committed to supporting policies that grow jobs and stimulate the economy.
“The United States’ withdrawal from the Paris climate accord is this administration’s bold commitment to promoting pro-growth principles and rebuilding America’s manufacturing base, which was under siege by the Paris accord,” Acosta said in a prepared statement. “The U.S. Department of Labor remains laser focused on ensuring all Americans have access to good, safe jobs and will continue standing arm-in-arm with the American worker.”