NGO Alliance Opposes United States Withdrawal from Paris Climate Agreement

Photo By: U.S. State Department

InterAction leaders highlight disproportionate impact on poverty-stricken regions of the world

WASHINGTON – InterAction expressed concern at the White House’s decision on Thursday to leave the Paris climate agreement. The landmark accord brings nations together to combat climate change and help developing countries and vulnerable communities directly facing impacts such as rising global sea levels and severe drought.

"Continued U.S. participation in global efforts to address climate change is a major priority for organizations working to reduce poverty and promote human dignity. We are concerned that leaving the globally accepted Paris climate agreement will have terrible long-term implications by increasing the risk of poverty, war and the displacement of vulnerable populations, the very people that development and humanitarian nonprofit organizations work to serve," said InterAction CEO Sam Worthington. 

Leaving the agreement could have devastating effects on communities already living in poor and exposed areas. Developing countries are especially vulnerable and widespread impacts such as drought and flooding events, more severe and frequent weather-related disasters, coastal flooding, increased incidence of pests and diseases and, ultimately, political and economic instability, will further compromise the livelihoods of communities across the globe. World Bank research suggests that without action to address climate effects, more than 100 million people could be pushed into poverty by 2030.

"Climate change is a root cause of a number of conflicts and is itself a driver of displacement and urbanization," added Patricia McIlreavy, Vice President for Humanitarian Policy and Practice.

The withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement is especially worrisome given the additional cuts to poverty-fighting accounts proposed in the White House’s FY18 budget. "We look to Congress to continue U.S. leadership in robust foreign assistance funding by supporting life-saving programs," remarked InterAction President, Lindsay Coates. "U.S. engagement in the world remains critically important as climate change exacerbate the spread of disease, famine conditions, and other global challenges."

Additional Resources


InterAction also circulated a verion of this statement for sign on from member and partner organizations. The full statement with all 49 participating organizations can be seen below: