APA Statement on the Paris Climate Agreement
Statement from APA President Kurt Christiansen, FAICP, on the U.S. Withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement
Climate change is a global challenge that demands global solutions. The American Planning Association (APA) strongly opposes the decision by the Trump administration to withdraw the United States from the landmark Paris Climate Agreement. This withdrawal undermines the role of the country as a leader in addressing our climate crisis and threatens to put further out of reach critical goals for stabilizing global temperatures and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
In 2008, APA adopted its first policy position and guidance on climate change. Calling climate change "one of the most important planning challenges of the 21st century," the organization called on planners to tackle adaptation and mitigation. APA also argued for a robust federal role, including policies addressing data, funding, incentives, and resiliency standards.
Since that time, local communities across the nation have been working to combat the climate crisis. While these local and regional innovations are making an essential contribution, national leadership and federal support remain essential. More action is needed from Washington, not less. The rejection of our international commitments on climate change is both deeply disappointing and dangerous, putting our future at risk.
APA will continue to advocate for essential and effective climate policies at all levels of government and to provide the information and resources to ensure that planners are helping create safe communities for all. APA urges the Trump administration to reverse the decision to abandon the Paris Agreement and renew a commitment to our role in the global climate fight.
"Planners are working every day in communities across the nation and around the world to make communities stronger and more resilient," said APA President Kurt Christiansen, FAICP. "Helping communities mitigate potential damage from ever-stronger natural disasters, make more informed decisions about where and how we develop land, protect vulnerable communities, and build infrastructure that helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions is central to the important role of planning in tackling the urgent challenge of climate change."