President Trump officially announced on Thursday afternoon that the United States will be withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement. Shortly before Trump’s official announcement, the Vatican spoke out against the exit, the plans for which had been released to the media in days prior.
Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, told the Rome newspaper La Repubblica: “If he really does (pull out), it would be a huge slap in the face for us. It will be a disaster for everyone.” Sorondo confirmed these comments in a phone call with Reuters.
The Paris Climate Agreement, signed during the latter part of the Obama administration, dictates that countries around the globe work together to keep average global temperatures from rising 2 degrees Celsius above those of the pre-Industrial Revolution average global temperature.
This goal stands to be accomplished through countries reaching “peak emission” levels as soon as possible, and concurrently shifting over to dependence on renewable and clean energy sources. The Paris climate deal also mandates that rich countries like the United States send aid to poorer countries in order to offset the possible negative economic effects from capping the usage of fossil fuels.
Countries like the United States used fossil fuels to get to where they are at present economically speaking, but under the rising burden of climate change, poorer countries don’t necessarily have that option.
It’s important to note that under the terms of the Paris climate agreement, there is no legal accountability for countries that are party to the deal failing to deliver on the deal’s mandates. The deal is, basically, voluntary.
Nevertheless, the Trump administration is eager to withdraw from the deal, birthed no doubt out of President Trump’s dedication to making money over basically all else. As he repeals environmental protection regulation after environmental protection regulation, and as he signs deals including a massive arms transfer agreement with the global aggressor Saudi Arabia, Trump and his team continuously cite a mantra of “Jobs, jobs, jobs!”
Interestingly, there is the apparent concurrent reason for the Trump Administration’s decision to pull out of the Paris agreement of wanting to get back at Obama, with White House energy policy adviser Michael Catanzaro telling Capitol Hill staffers in an early Thursday conference call that the Trump Administration is “going to make very clear to the world that we’re not going to be abiding by what the previous administration agreed to.”
Going on while speaking of Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement, Bishop Sorondo commented: “Saying that we need to rely on coal and oil is like saying that the earth is not round. It is an absurdity dictated by the need to make money.”
These comments from Bishop Sorondo aren’t the first time that the Vatican has taken a stand against Trump.
Earlier this year, Cardinal Peter Turkson, pleaded with Trump to listen to “dissenting voices” as to the question of how seriously he should take climate change.
More recently, the Pope gave Trump a copy of his landmark encyclical on climate change while meeting with him on the occasion of his first overseas tour as President.
Featured Image via Vatican Pool/ Getty Images