Governor Wolf: U.S. Withdraw from Paris Climate Accord Would Hurt Pennsylvania’s Economy, Health

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today reiterated his call for President Trump to remain in the Paris Agreement on climate change, which was signed by every country in the world besides Syria and Nicaragua.

“I urge President Trump not to abdicate the United States’ global leadership and seat at the table on climate change – a pressing issue for Pennsylvania’s economy, especially energy, agriculture and tourism, and our resident’s health,” Governor Wolf said. “Pennsylvania is an energy leader and addressing emissions presents opportunities for Pennsylvania’s natural gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency industries to grow and create new jobs.

“Many of America’s largest corporations – from energy to technology – agree with environmental advocates, faith leaders and scientists that staying in the Paris agreement is the right choice for America. We cannot ignore the scientific evidence and economic significance of climate change and put our economy and population at risk.”

In 2015, the Pennsylvania Climate Impacts Assessment Update, prepared by Penn State University professor Dr. James Shortle, warned of serious consequences of climate change for Pennsylvania residents, industries and communities.

Some key takeaways from the report include:

  • Climate change could worsen air quality: increasing pollen concentration, mold concentration, and ground-level ozone, causing longer allergy seasons, aggravating asthma, and increasing mortality among at-risk populations.
  • Vector-borne diseases like West Nile virus and Lyme disease could increase due to more favorable conditions for mosquitoes and deer ticks.
  • Increased precipitation in many parts of the state could lead to higher flood risks and threaten safe drinking water supplies.
  • Warmer temperatures will bring more favorable conditions for agricultural pests like weeds and insects.
  • Severe storms – strengthened by warmer temperatures – could affect reliable electric service and threaten current electric infrastructure.