U.S. exit from Paris climate agreement unconscionable

Date: Nov 04 2020

Contact APHA Media Relations

Statement from APHA Executive Director George C. Benjamin, MD

The Trump administration’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement officially takes effect today, dealing a major blow to efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the health and economic impacts of climate change.

Like we said last November when the withdrawal was announced, the move only serves to relinquish U.S. leadership on climate change and ignores the significant risks of a go-it-alone approach to a global threat. One only has to look at the U.S. COVID-19 response to see how that approach is playing out.

Under the last administration, the U.S. and many other countries agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pledged to take action to limit the effects of global warming. With our exit from the accord, we are among only a few countries worldwide not signed on to the global agreement. At the same time, the U.S. is the second biggest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world.

The health and environmental impacts of climate change are already here, and denying that reality and the science behind it will have devastating consequences. APHA stands by the state and local officials now leading the nation’s climate response, and calls on federal officials to reverse this harmful decision and rejoin the global climate accord as quickly as possible.

Visit APHA for fact sheets and resources on climate and health.


APHA champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the public health profession. We speak out for public health issues and policies backed by science. We are the only organization that combines a nearly 150-year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Visit us at www.apha.org.