President Trump’s controversial bid to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Agreement could have devastating consequences for his former home state, according to a new scientific report out of Congress.
The report, produced by the House Oversight Committee and obtained exclusively by the Daily News ahead of its Saturday release, concluded that more than 400,000 New Yorkers could die prematurely from various illnesses related to climate change over the next five decades if Trump’s successful in rescinding the U.S. commitment to the landmark agreement.
The unsettling finding is based on research by Dr. Drew Shindell, a professor of Earth Sciences at Duke University and a leading expert on the health effects of climate change and air pollution.
The Paris Agreement requires nations to work together toward keeping global warming below 2 degrees Celsius by limiting greenhouse gas emissions and investing in renewable energy. President Barack Obama and the leaders of most of the world’s other industrialized nations signed the accord in April 2016.
But Trump filed notice last year to pull out of the agreement. The U.S. exit officially takes effect on Nov. 4 — the day after the presidential election.
If the Republican president wins a second term and successfully cuts the U.S. out of the accord, the House Oversight Committee report predicts that the global average temperature would soar above 2 degrees Celsius, especially since the president has already rolled back “numerous key” environmental regulations during his first four years in office.
Such a temperature bump would cause a plethora of health issues across the U.S., including an increase in cardiovascular and respiratory diseases as air qualities worsen, according to the report.
House Oversight Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) noted that the report’s gloomy predictions can be prevented if the U.S. recommits to the Paris Climate Agreement.
“We could save hundreds of thousands of lives, prevent unnecessary illnesses and hospitalizations, avoid tens of millions of lost workdays, and save trillions of dollars in economic benefits — all right here in our State of New York,” Maloney told The News on Friday.
In New York alone, as many as 423,000 residents would die from climate change-related illnesses between now and 2070, the report assesses.
In addition to the staggering death toll, the report predicts that the temperature spike would result in 400,000 emergency room visits in New York over the same time period, including an estimated 5,700 hospitalizations of children with asthma.
There would also be a ripple effect on New York’s economy, the report says, with an estimated 45 million workdays lost, resulting in a $3.5 trillion blow to the state’s finances — above and beyond the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.
White House spokesman Judd Deere disputed the committee’s findings as “completely partisan.”
“Other countries and the radical left remain obsessed with the Paris Climate Accord, which shackles economies and has done nothing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Deere said. “President Trump understands economic growth and environmental protection do not need to conflict.”
Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential nominee, has pledged to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement if he wins the Nov. 3 election.
Trump has long cast doubt over the scientific community’s unanimous conclusion that human activity is exacerbating climate change.
During the 2016 campaign, he said he wasn’t a “believer in man-made climate change” and pledged to as president withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement and boost American fossil fuel production.
In addition to paving the way for exiting the Paris accord, Trump has undone several Obama-era environmental regulations, including the Clean Power Plan, the Clean Cars Rule and a Bureau of Land Management ordinance aimed at reducing methane emissions on federal lands.