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US in danger of being left behind by clean energy revolution warns Christian Aid

9 November 2016 - Christian Aid has warned that any attempts by new US President Donald Trump to bury his head in the sand over climate change will harm American interests and be an act of economic self-sabotage.

Christian Aid’s International Climate Lead, Mohamed Adow, said the global transition to a zero carbon economy would not be held up by one man.

He said: “Last year’s Paris Agreement showed the world was united in its concern about climate change and its commitment to decarbonising the global economy.  The rest of the world will not risk a global climate catastrophe because of one man’s opposition.

“The economics of energy are already changing rapidly, home grown wind and solar are increasingly becoming the cheapest forms of energy and falling costs in technology continue to show us the direction of travel.

“The benefits are already being recognised by a number of US states which are harnessing their abundant clean energy resources. 

“It’s also popular with the American public. A recent Pew Research Centre study showed that 83 per cent of American adults support expanding wind farms, while 89 per cent support solar expansion.

“On a practical point, now that the Paris Agreement has come into force no country can easily withdraw for at least three years. Even if the US wanted to do so at that point it would suffer considerably, both a political and diplomatic cost as well as putting itself at the back of the pack on the benefits of clean tech.

“Although the US will certainly suffer from any obstruction of efforts to stop climate change, it also risks the lives of millions of the world’s poorest people who have done nothing to cause the problem yet are the most vulnerable to its effects.”

Christian Aid’s COP 22 Briefing Paper: Moving Forward from Paris can be accessed here

Christian Aid policy experts will be on the ground in Marrakesh for the duration of the summit. For interview requests or more information contact jware@christian-aid.org or text him on +447870944485.


Notes to editors: 

1. In September Christian Aid announced that 3,500 churches had ditched fossil fuels and signed up for renewable electricity.  Many of these have come through the Big Church Switch scheme supported by the Church of England.  For more information visit www.bigchurchswitch.org.uk.

2. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.

3. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.

4. Christian Aid is a member of ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. 

5. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_newswire

6. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk

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