Indiana leaders approve, criticize withdraw from Paris Agreement



Following Trump’s announcement to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on June 1, Indiana politicians voiced their support or disapproval of the decision in everything from official statements to tweets.

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill issued a statement Friday in support of Trump’s decision to withdraw from the climate agreement.

Hill said in his statement there is no question that humans have a direct effect on the 
environment and that countries must be responsible in their use of natural resources.

However, he said the agreement is a symbolic one that would only promote radical energy policies that would harm the United States economy.

“We must reduce our carbon emissions with a balanced approach that realistically provides for our energy needs while advancing more efficient forms of energy at reasonable costs,” Hill said in the statement. “Our friends in Europe must understand that we will put our own interests first.”

He added that Trump’s policy will benefit middle-class Americans and Hoosiers.

On the other side of the aisle, Bloomington mayor John Hamilton announced his disapproval of Trump’s decision.

“This is a huge disappointment,” Hamilton said in a City of Bloomington press release. “It is a betrayal of our future and extraordinarily short sighted.”

In addition, the Monroe County Democratic Party spoke out at a press conference Friday in Bryan Park. Hamilton, the Monroe County Commissioner Julie Thomas, Monroe County Council President Ryan Cobine, and the Monroe County Democratic Party Chair Mark Fraley made remarks condemning the 
decision.

Bloomington also announced Friday that Hamilton signed the Mayors’ National Climate Action Agenda. The initiative commits Bloomington to reducing its emissions, creating and supporting activities for sustainability, developing a community climate action plan, and other duties.

Hamilton and Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson were the only two mayors in Indiana to sign the agreement.

City and state officials also voiced their concerns or support on Twitter after Trump’s announcement.

Reps. Todd Rokita, R-Indianapolis, and Jim Banks, R-Columbia City, voiced their support for the decision. On the other side, House Minority Leader Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, and Rep. Andre Carson, D-Indianapolis, voiced their disapproval.

Outside of the city, county and state governments, leaders from IU came out against the agreement as well. The Residence Hall Association’s president, Dakota Coates, and its director of sustainability Cally Wilken issued their own statements against Trump’s decision.

Coates said the Residence Hall Association was disappointed in the country’s direction, but will continue to develop sustainable policies within Residential Programs and Services and the University as a whole.

Wilken said in her statement that sustainability and clean living are a priority to the organization.

“We see climate change as a significant threat to humanity and to the world, and we are committed to doing everything in our power to deter it,” she said.

Representatives from more than 190 countries signed the Paris Climate Agreement on Dec. 12, 2015. The pact called for these countries to commit to adopting green energy sources, cut down on emissions and limit the rise of global temperatures.

The Paris Agreement was developed with a loose-fitting framework so countries could develop their own climate strategies, which is what Republicans argue makes the agreement have a negligible effect on the environment and instead an even bigger one on jobs.

Democrats largely believe the agreement is a historical move that would help bind the country to make bigger changes to combat climate change.

The U.S. now joins Syria and Nicaragua as the only countries not part of the 
agreement.

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