President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement to fight climate change—keeping his promise during the 2016 presidential campaign.
During ceremony at the White House Rose Garden on Thursday, Trump said, “In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord.”
The President also stated his intention for the United States to start negotiations to re-enter the Paris Agreement or a “new transaction on terms that are fair” for the country, its businesses, workers, people, and tax payers.
“We’re getting out, but we will start to negotiate. We will see if we can make a deal that’s fair,” said Trump.
Trump says Paris Agreement is unfair to the United States
He criticized the Paris Agreement as a disadvantage to the United States, but other countries get exclusive benefits from it. The U.S. is one of the 195 countries that entered the deal in 2015. Former President Barack Obama was among the leaders instrumental in brokering the accord, which obligates countries to reduce greenhouse gas emission to prevent global warming.
Trump said starting today the United States will stop the implementation of the non-binding Paris Agreement and the “draconian financial and economic burdens” imposed by the deal. According to him, compliance with the accord would cost the U.S. as much 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025 based on data from the National Economic Research Associates. Its cost to the country’s economy would be nearly $3 trillion in lost GDP while households would have $7,500 less income or much worse in many cases.
“Not only does this deal subject our citizens to harsh economic restrictions, it fails to live up to our environmental ideas. As someone who cares deeply about the environment, I cannot in good conscience support a deal that punishes the United States,” said Trump. He emphasized that the Paris Agreement is unfair to the country.
Obama criticizes Trump’s decision to leave Paris Agreement
Obama released a statement criticizing his successor’s decision to back out from the Paris Agreement. He said withdrawal from the deal would cost the country new good-paying jobs in growing industries that contributed to the longest streak of job creation in U.S. history.
“The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created. I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack. But even in the absence of American leadership; even as this Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got,” said Obama.
Democratic Senators Bernie Sanders and Sheldon Whitehouse also denounced Trump’s move.
Sanders said, “At this moment, when climate change is already causing devastating harm around the world, we do not have the moral right to turn our backs on efforts to preserve this planet for future generations.”
“Ignoring reality and leaving the Paris agreement could go down as one of the worst foreign policy blunders in our nation’s history, isolating the U.S. further after Trump’s shockingly bad European trip,” said Whitehouse.
Yesterday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk threatened to quit the White House advisory councils if President Donald Trump backs out of the Paris Agreement. Today, he tweeted, “Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.”
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