Mayewski, Gill speak with Press Herald about withdrawing from climate accord

The Portland Press Herald spoke with Paul Mayewski and Jacquelyn Gill, researchers at the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute, about President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord. Mayewski, director of the CCI, said that while countries such as China are taking steps to reduce carbon emissions, the U.S. stands to lose credibility because it remains the second-largest producer of carbon dioxide in the world. He said Mainers could be harmed by the president’s decision. As temperatures continue to rise and weather patterns become more unstable, extreme heat will make more people vulnerable, especially the sick and the elderly. Climate change also will impact tourism and lobstering, Mayewski said, and health care costs also could increase.

“I’m disappointed in the lack of leadership on climate change at the national level, but I hope that people don’t see this and think that all is lost because that is not true,” said Gill, who is also an Assistant Professor of Paleoecology & Plant Ecology, School of Biology and Ecology. She added the responsibility for fighting climate change now falls on state and local groups. There is hope, she said, because companies are starting to embrace the movement away from dependence on fossil fuels and investing resources in renewable energy.