Democratic Florida Sen. Bill Nelson says it would be a “huge mistake” if President Donald Trump pulls the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement.
“That will be a huge mistake – 197 countries signed that agreement, albeit a voluntary agreement. What we’re trying to do is save the planet from getting so heated up that there’s no return,” Nelson told reporters in his West Palm Beach office.
Nelson said the U.S. “sets the example for the rest of the world” on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and influences China and other emerging economies.
“If the United States is not doing its part, they’re not going to do it and that means that ultimately the earth will heat up and the east coast and west coast of Florida, sea level rise will start over the course of this century to rise another 2 to 3 feet. I don’t think we want that to happen,” Nelson said.
If Trump does withdraw from the agreement, Nelson said, “I’d want the people of Florida to rise up and demand of their elected representatives, at both the state level and the local level, to insist that we abide by the voluntary standards that came out of the Paris accords.”
Critics of the climate pact say it hurts the U.S. economy and costs jobs.
But Nelson countered that sea level rise could be devastating to Florida.
“The additional cost is, you’ve got to measure that against the cost down the road that is irreversible, that the sea continues to rise and completely absorbs our coast,” Nelson said.