Several top Democratic lawmakers organized a campaign at the Bonn climate conference intended to demonstrate to world leaders that President Donald Trump does not represent the United States’ interests on climate change.
Last week, the Democratic senators met with officials from other countries where they sought to persuade them they were still interested in staying in the Paris climate agreement, despite the president’s announcement that the U.S. would withdraw from it because it puts the country at a “big economic disadvantage.”
“We are still in! I want to make it clear: The federal government is not just the president of the United States,” said Senator Ben Cardin on Sunday.
The senators’ meeting comes amid global concern about the United States’ decision not to participate in the agreement, especially after Syria announced it would become part of it. Should Trump make good on his promise to withdraw, the U.S. would be the only country in the world not participating in the deal.
During the climate summit in Germany, Democratic politicians, as well as climate activists stood by their slogan “We are still in!”, aiming to point out that the United States’ views on the Paris agreement differed from those of President Trump.
The meeting was attended by a small group of U.S. senators and delegates from India and Japan, and Senator Brian Schatz said they were also planning to meet with representatives of Mexico, the EU, Canada, and Indonesia.
Schatz further pointed out that the American system of government does not allow Trump to scrap the clean energy policy overnight. The Trump administration is making efforts to undo the Obama-era policy which also includes carbon emission limits, although this could take years and would have to undergo legal review.
Senator Ed Markey said Democrats would also not allow wind and solar tax credits to be cut back. However, the conference was dominated by Trump who maintains climate change is nothing but a hoax and is encouraging increased coal production.