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Presiding Bishop Michael Curry responds to Trump’s Paris Accord announcement

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry responds to Trump’s Paris Accord announcement

UPDATE: other church leaders’ statements

Presiding Bishop on the President’s action and the Paris Climate Accord

June 1, 2017

This statement was released by The Episcopal Church here.

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry has issued the following statement on President Donald Trump’s action and the Paris Climate Accord.

With the announcement by President Donald Trump of his decision to withdraw the commitment made by the United States to the Paris Climate Accord, I am reminded of the words of the old spiritual which speaks of God and God’s creation in these words, “He’s got the whole world in his hands.” The whole world belongs to God, as Psalm 24 teaches us. God’s eye is ever on even the tiny sparrow, as Jesus taught and the song says (Luke 12:6). And we human beings have been charged with being trustees, caretakers, stewards of God’s creation (Genesis 1:26-31).

The United States has been a global leader in caring for God’s creation through efforts over the years on climate change. President Trump’s announcement changes the U.S.’s leadership role in the international sphere. Despite this announcement, many U.S. businesses, states, cities, regions, nongovernmental organizations and faith bodies like the Episcopal Church can continue to take bold action to address the climate crisis.  The phrase, “We’re still in,” became a statement of commitment for many of us who regardless of this decision by our President are still committed to the principles of the Paris Agreement.

Faith bodies like the Episcopal Church occupy a unique space in the worldwide climate movement. In the context of the United Nations, the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement, we are an international body representing 17 countries in the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia and the Pacific. We also are a provisionally admitted observer organization to the UNFCCC process, empowered to bring accredited observers to the UN climate change meetings. Furthermore, the Episcopal Church is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the third-largest Christian tradition, and we remain committed to ensuring that Anglicans everywhere are empowered to undertake bold action on climate change mitigation and adaptation.

We know that caring for God’s creation by engaging climate change is not only good for the environment, but also good for the health and welfare of our people. The U.S. is currently creating more clean jobs faster than job creation in nearly every other sector of the economy, and unprecedented acceleration in the clean energy sector is also evident in many other major economies.

My prayer is that we in the Episcopal Church will, in this and all things, follow the way, the teachings and the Spirit of Jesus by cultivating a loving, liberating and life-giving relationship with God, all others in the human family, and with all of God’s good creation.

In spite of hardships and setbacks, the work goes on. This is God’s world.  And we are all his children. And, “He’s got the whole world in his hands.”

The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church


More church leaders comment on the President’s action here.

… the Church of England’s lead bishop on the environment, the Bishop of Salisbury Nick Holtam, went much further with an outright condemnation of President Trump’s decision, which he described as an “abject failure of leadership.” …

“How can President Trump look in the eye the people most affected, including the world’s poorest in the places most affected by climate change now, and those affected by increasingly frequent extreme weather in parts of the USA? The leader of what used to be called ‘the new world’ is trapped in old world thought and action.”

… “For the US government to withdraw from taking responsible action in keeping with the Paris agreement is an abject failure of leadership. The USA emits nearly a fifth of global CO2 emissions. This step is particularly disappointing at a time when China, the world’s other mega-emitter of CO2, has committed to deep and sustained cuts in emissions to protect its own citizens as well as the rest of the world.


…The decision was also condemned by leaders of other Christian traditions and ecumenical bodies.

“This is a tragedy, missing an opportunity to show real, accountable leadership for the future of humanity and our common home,” the general secretary of the World Council of Churches, the Revd Olav Fykse Tveit, said. “This is a decision that is not morally sustainable; and not economically sustainable either. The struggle for climate justice has to continue.”

Rudelmar Bueno De Faria, the general secretary of the Act Alliance, an organisation which includes a number of Anglican development agencies, said: “Only 18 months ago global leaders welcomed the landmark Paris Climate Agreement for taking into account the immediate needs of countries most severely affected by the impacts of climate change. The move by the President of the United States today flies in the face of ethics and Christian values.”

Last month, Pope Francis presented President Trump with a copy of his encyclical on the environment, Laudato Si’ during a visit to the Vatican. The chair of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops international justice and peace committee, Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces, described President Trump’s decision as “deeply troubling.”

“The Scriptures affirm the value of caring for creation and caring for each other in solidarity. The Paris agreement is an international accord that promotes these values. President Trump’s decision will harm the people of the United States and the world, especially the poorest, most vulnerable communities.

“The impacts of climate change are already being experienced in sea level rise, glacial melts, intensified storms, and more frequent droughts. I can only hope that the President will propose concrete ways to address global climate change and promote environmental stewardship.”


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[please sign your first and last name when you comment. Thanks. Editor]
Thank you presiding Bishop Curry for your foresight you, your courage, and your wisdom. Thank you for always being on the right side of Jesus and standing up for this creation that was given to us and as outlined in the book of Genesis. For those who say this is political, I would only remind you that the rising oceans areneither Republican or Democrat, they are just rising. Thanks be to God for our presiding Bishop

Philip B. Spivey

The current White House continues the demolition of our republic at breath-taking speed and is happy to see the rest of the globe go with it.

The only effective bulwark against calamity is us and we; you and me. PB Curry isn’t going down on this ship without a fight. I stand beside him in this fight. The alternatives are too grim to imagine.

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
–Leonard Cohen, “Anthem”

Rod Gillis

Those interested in the comments of PB Curry on the Paris Accord may also be interested in this article from the American publication National Catholic Reporter. “With the announcement,[ President] Trump removes the United States — the world’s second-largest present-day polluter, and the largest historical emitter of greenhouse gases — from the first-of-its-kind international pact that commits countries to curbing climate change.”

Tim Wolber

If Anglicans were sincere about protecting the environment they would quit running to Walmart for cheap products made in China and India. We have more laws and directives in this country to protect the environment than anywhere in the world. Our over regulated economy kills jobs for Americans. Buy American and put our workers back to work. We have killed our own ability to make things of value and bought into a globalist economy that holds no one accountable for the polu-tion they create. China’s and India’s rivers and streams are an abomination. Go visit them. Swimmers in the Chinese Sponsored Olympics were appalled. The current Paris agreement is a sham and should be renegotiated. We have had 40 years of elitist politicians running our country and many others into the ground, paid for by the super rich. Term limits for all elected officials and elimination of lobbyists and money from special interests would cure only part of the problem. Life time employment for a political class , sorry Hillary and Bernie, government service employees with no accountability/control by the electorate and follow-on jobs for representatives with lobbying organizations have made responsive governance a joke. Many Episcopalians have brains and care about the environment. Stop alienating them.

leslie marshall

The Paris Accord was a lopsided non- binding treaty that should never have been made without Congress approval.

Pragmatic Trump is correcting Obama’s wrong, and will construct an agreement that actually works. [Environmental over-regulation actually hits hardest among the poor. ]

Harry M. Merryman

Tim Wolber,
I’m not sure I understand who you (and, apparently, Prof Seitz) think is “alienating . . . [the] many Episcopalians [who] have brains and care about the environment.”

Jeffrey Shy, CoS

And “buy American” fixes global climate change how? Perhaps we can build a really big wall and fence off the rest of the planet? Maybe we can make an “America first” atmosphere and just breathe American air? If we are so over-regulated, why are we the #2 emitter? When our coastlines disappear under the water, will that have saved us money? I am a stupid old white man and will be long dead by then. Will our children bless us for selling the planet for our pride? I think not.

Prof Christopher Seitz


Rod Gillis

“We have more laws and directives in this country to protect the environment than anywhere in the world. ”

Actually, you don’t.

Br. Jeffrey Shy, CoS

A friend of mine shared this quote from Bl. Dietrich Bonhoeffer on FB today. It is a choice reply, I think, to the POTUS and his supporters:

Stupidity is a more dangerous enemy of the good than malice. One may protest against evil; it can be exposed and, if need be, prevented by use of force.
Evil always carries within itself the germ of its own subversion in that it leaves behind in human beings at least a sense of unease. Against stupidity, we are defenseless.
Neither protests nor the use of force accomplish anything here; reasons fall on deaf ears, facts that contradict one’s prejudgment simply need not be believed – in such moments the supid person even becomes critical – and when facts are irrefutable they are just pushed aside as inconsequential, as incidental. In all this, the stupid person, in contrast to the malicious one, is utterly self-satisfied and, being easily irritated, becomes dangerous by going on the attack.
For that reason, greater caution is called for when dealing with a stupid person than a malicious one. Never again will we try to persuade the stupid person with reasons, for it is senseless and dangerous.
– Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “On Stupidity,” Letters and Papers from Prison.

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