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ELAW director: ‘Trump has just stuck his thumb in that momentum and that’s a tragedy’

EUGENE, Ore. – Local reaction is pouring in about President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement.

In Eugene, the Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide is warning of the dangers of leaving the deal.

ELAW director Bern Johnson says Thursday was a shocking and tragic day.

He says damaging the climate is a worldwide problem and America backing out of the agreement says to the rest of the world that “we don’t care about the future, our alliances, and science.”

He says he sees China and Europe stepping up to lead.

“In fact, corporations — IMB and General Electric — say they disagree with this decision, and that they’re going to start leading,” Johnson says. “You know, there is worldwide momentum towards working together to protect the climate, and President Trump has just stuck his thumb in that momentum and that’s a tragedy.”

As the executive director of ELAW, Johnson works to protect the environment through law and science. His work has taken him all over the world, including the former Soviet Union, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

The process to withdraw from the Paris agreement can take nearly four years to complete, which means the decision could go to American voters in the next presidential election before the US is fully withdrawn.

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