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AZ Conservation Groups Praise McCain for Supporting Paris Accord

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., announced his support for the Paris climate accords, earning praise from conservation groups.(Wikimedia Commons)
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., announced his support for the Paris climate accords, earning praise from conservation groups.(Wikimedia Commons)
June 1, 2017

PHOENIX – As President Donald Trump nears a decision on whether to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, Sen. John McCain of Arizona is speaking out in favor of staying in.

McCain made the comments while visiting Australia, which has seen a massive coral die-off in the Great Barrier Reef that's linked to climate change.

Brad Powell, president of the Arizona Wildlife Federation, says he's glad McCain is taking a stand for the environment.

"We're very pleased to see our senator, a longtime conservationist and a long time supporter of smart decisions relative to the environment, stand up for us staying in the Paris accord," Powell states.

McCain says he thinks Trump should either stick with the limits on carbon emission in the agreement signed by President Barack Obama in 2015, or propose amendments that would make it more acceptable for the U.S. to join.

Opponents of the accords say the pollution controls required to meet the targets are too expensive for the coal industry and will cost jobs.

Powell says Arizona, like most of the West, already is suffering the effects of climate change.

"We have tremendous forests in Arizona, but they've been beset by large, catastrophic fires,” he points out. “In fact, we've had three 100-year fire events in a five-year period – just unheard of – and all of that is related to the warming and drying conditions that we're experiencing here in Arizona."

Trump vowed to withdraw from the Paris accords during the campaign, but was lobbied heavily to reconsider by European leaders at the G-7 Summit last week.

The president's decision is expected Thursday.


Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - AZ