Climate leaders respond to Trump's fossil fuel event

November 13, 2017


Gov. Jay Inslee and other climate leaders are in Bonn, Germany this week to participate in the UN climate talks. Inslee and others responded to President Trump's fossil fuel event and discussed their commitments to a clean energy future. Watch the video here.

“The fundamental message at Bonn is that Donald Trump cannot stop us. This is the most important thing we want the world to know. The U.S. Climate Alliance states make up 40 percent of the economy and we have hundreds of cities, universities and businesses that aren’t slowing down one bit on our work to move away from coal and towards a clean energy future and economy," Inslee said.

The release from the US Climate Action Center is below.


US Climate Action Center


CONTACT: Ben Rubin | | 917-749-3694

Trump’s Fossil Fuel Event: Climate Leaders Respond

Over 100 American leaders from state and local government, businesses, and universities have made the trip to Bonn to participate constructively in the UN climate talks. The leaders and organizers that have participated in the US Climate Action Center share no affiliation with the Trump Administration’s fossil fuel event and are responding to the event with the quotes below.

These 100+ leaders are among a large and growing network of leaders, now numbering over 2,500, who represent more than $6.2 trillion of the US economy and over half of the American population that is saying “we are still in” on the Paris Agreement. Many of these climate leaders participated in an event on Saturday in the US Climate Action Center that reaffirmed America’s Pledge to meeting the US commitment under the Paris Agreement.


“Promoting coal at a climate summit is like promoting tobacco at a cancer summit. It's also a denial what's happening in the US - half of all American coal plants have been retired over the past six years, thanks to market and community forces and leadership by cities and states. That trend will continue no matter what happens in Washington, and we are now working to help the rest of the world move beyond coal too. If the administration won't lead it should at least get out of the way.” Michael Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change

“While our President and his administration have bound themselves to the interests of fossil fuel polluters, the American people have not.  Rhode Islanders and Americans everywhere care deeply about American leadership in combatting climate change.  We are working hard to meet the United States’ obligations under the accord, and to prepare our communities, coastlines, fisheries, forests, and farmland for what’s to come.  And we will stand firm against an executive branch captured by the fossil fuel industry.” Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Senator of Rhode Island

“The fundamental message at Bonn is that Donald Trump cannot stop us. This is the most important thing we want the world to know. The U.S. Climate Alliance states make up 40 percent of the economy and we have hundreds of cities, universities and businesses that aren’t slowing down one bit on our work to move away from coal and towards a clean energy future and economy.” Jay Inslee, Governor of Washington

“Nothing could encapsulate the extreme tone deafness and isolation of this administration more than an event to celebrate fossil fuels during this important global climate meeting. Trump apparently missed not just the science, but also the point: Through the Paris Agreement, the world committed to transitioning off of fossil fuels entirely.” John Coequyt, Sierra Club's Global Climate Policy Director

“Exploiting poor, disadvantaged populations to justify continued fossil fuel usage in climate mitigation is a despicable breach of humanity. The Trump team promoting this abomination at COP 23 in Bonn are exhibiting the depth of greed, lack of morality and lengths the fossil Industry will go to maintain their wealth. Poor people do not need the continued use of this “cheap” energy source which ultimately contributes to insurmountable poverty, loss of health, property and life.” Kathy Egland, Environmental Justice Chair, NAACP

“It is well-established that coal is a major contributor to air pollution around the world which increases illness and death, particularly in the most vulnerable populations. On the other hand , we know that clean renewable energy create jobs and saves lives by reducing that pollution to almost nothing.  For healthy people and a healthy planet we need to choose a clean energy economy.” Josh Karliner, International Director of Program and Strategy, Health Care Without Harm

“The blatant efforts by the Trump administration to pander to fossil fuel special interests is like promoting cigarettes as the cure for cancer. Such actions are at complete odds with both science and market trends across the U.S., where wind and solar costs are dropping dramatically and new installations of these renewable electricity resources are outpacing all others. What’s more, it demonstrates the administration is dangerously out-of-tune with the urgent need to make deep cuts in global warming emissions to limit harmful and costly climate impacts. Climate leadership from U.S. states, cities, businesses and ordinary people shows the way forward, even as President Trump completely abdicates his responsibility to address climate change on behalf of current and future generations.” Rachel Cleetus, lead economist and climate policy manager at the Union of Concerned Scientists

"The panel is a sham. There's no such thing as clean coal. Talking about coal at the climate talks is like promoting typewriters at a tech conference: everyone else here knows fossil fuels are the past and the future is in renewables. The White House and the Trump Administration continue to insult the American people, even at these Climate Talks, by sending their fossil fuel cronies to spread lies and lift up fossil fuel billionaires over everyone else. We stand united with our partners against this ridicule and commit to doing the real work in cities and states across the U.S. to bring forward an urgent, just transition to 100% renewables and a halt to all new fossil projects. We won't stand for anything less."  Thanu Yakupitiyage, U.S. Communications Manager at and coordinator of the U.S. People's Delegation




Media Contact 

Tara Lee
Governor Inslee’s Communications Office