Trump on Paris climate accord: 'We're getting out'

Alain Brian
Juin 2, 2017

"In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord but being negotiations to reenter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction under terms that are fair to the United States", Trump said from the White House Rose Garden.

"We're getting out", he said. They, along with other hard-line conservatives, have sought to convince Trump that meeting the terms of the agreement would be harmful to the bottom lines of United States businesses and would jeopardise manufacturing jobs, especially in the Midwest and other regions where Trump found deep support in last year's election.

The White House signaled that Trump was likely to decide on exiting the global pact - fulfilling one of his principal campaign pledges - though top aides were divided. Under the pact, the United States committed to reducing its emissions by 26 to 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025.

Now, that's probably not going to happen.

"Generations from now, Americans will look back at Donald Trump's decision to leave the Paris Agreement as one of the most ignorant and unsafe actions ever taken by any President", Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune said in a statement.

Rep. Barbara Lee tweeted, "The world needs to know that President Trump does not speak for all Americans". Renewable energy has gotten much cheaper in recent years, making it much more competitive. "Canadians know we need to take decisive and collective action to tackle the many harsh realities of our changing climate". New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has also said his city will continue to uphold the accord.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said Wednesday in Alaska that he had "yet to read what the actual Paris Agreement is", and would have to read it before weighing in.

Congressional Republicans applauded the decision, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky saying Trump had "put families and jobs ahead of left-wing ideology and should be commended".

"The decisions makes zero sense from a public health or economic perspective".

But House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California called it "a stunning abdication of American leadership and a grave threat to our planet's future".

The show-like atmosphere was fueled by the presence of a jazz band, which performed a series of numbers before Trump emerged from the Oval Office to deliver his statement.

President Obama said Trump's decision means the United States will "reject the future".

Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric, condemned Trump's decision on Twitter. Elon Musk, the head of Tesla Motors and a member of Trump's Business Advisory Council, announced he was stepping down.

During his campaign, Trump vowed to "cancel" US participation in the deal.

While Trump said the United States would be willing to rejoin the accord if it could obtain more favorable terms, the three European leaders said the agreement cannot be renegotiated, "since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economics".

He is breaking from many of America's staunchest allies, who have expressed alarm about the decision. A March Gallup poll found that 70 percent of Americans believe climate change is happening.

Trump spoke from the White House Rose Garden on a warm, sunny day. That means Trump can also remove the USA from the accord without a vote.

In response to the USA pulling out, Obama said that Trump's decision reflects "the absence of American leadership". Ben Cardin (D-Md.), said Thursday.

A source briefed on the decision told Reuters on Wednesday that Trump would pull the US out of the global pact to fight climate change, a move expected to rally his support base at home while deepening a rift with USA allies. Officials from both sides are expected to reaffirm their commitment to the agreement Friday.

Withdrawing the United States from the agreement could take years due to the accord's legal structure and language, but such a move would weaken its goals nearly immediately. "The Americans can't just leave the climate protection agreement". Trump was pressured heavily by his foreign counterparts during last week's G7 meetings in Sicily to remain in the deal, but his advisers say he felt little obligation to concede to that point of view.

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