Impact of Paris Climate Agreement on Central Coast

MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. - Central Coast Congressman Jimmy Panetta issued a statement Thursday opposing the President's decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.

Panetta had planned several round table discussions on climate change before this move was announced.

He calls President Trump's decision a threat to environmental, economic and national security.

Panetta and experts at a meeting Thursday say that climate change is more than a global issue, it's a Central Coast issue.

"Global warming is real, therefore rising sea levels are real" said Congressman Jimmy Panetta. "That's going to affect our hospitality industry, that's going to affect our agriculture industry, it's going to affect our tourism and beach going industry because of rising sea levels."

Congressman Panetta has been meeting with experts about climate change since long before the President said he would pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement and it's those experts he wants the President to listen to.

"This is what happens whey you have politics driving policy and it should be that people in science drive policy," said Gary Griggs.

One expert is professor Gary Griggs from UC Santa Cruz. He says climate change is already impacting the Central Coast.

"We know sea level's rising, it's being driven by greenhouse gasses and we've got lots of coastline affected," said Professor Gary Griggs. "Our beaches are affected, our cliffs are going to erode a lot more quickly, the amount of rainfall we get and how it's distributed through the year."

Still many residents agreed with the President's move.

"I'm very delighted to hear that he did that," said Central Coast resident Oralyn Hullinger. "That doesn't mean that we'll stay out, I think that he'll come up with something better."

"That's fine, now he's going to make everyone sit and do what they want him to do," said Richard Jackson.

The good news for Congressman Panetta, he says the decision won't stop the work he's already been doing here.

"It's not going to stop a lot of the members, Democrats and Republicans that I work with back in Washington D.C. from continuing to fight so that we can preserve our environment for our future and our children," Panetta said.

The congressman has another round table discussion scheduled tomorrow afternoon at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. He heads back to Washington D.C. on Monday where he'll continue working on climate change legislation.


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