Chuck Schumer on Withdrawal from Paris Agreement: 'Trump to Earth: Drop Dead'

Gwen Vasquez
June 2, 2017

European leaders and green groups reacted with anger and dismay after President Donald Trump announced Thursday that the United States, the world's second biggest carbon emitter, was quitting the 2015 Paris Agreement.

McKenna was responding to Donald Trump's announcement that the U.S.is pulling out of the landmark 190-country agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, although the president says the US would try to renegotiate the deal. The decision was announced Thursday afternoon in the Rose Garden.

A spokesman to the Secretary-General of the United Nations called Trump's decision a "major disappointment" and said it's "crucial that the United States remains a leader on environmental issues".

The think tank Climate Interactive has calculated that the planet would warm about.3 degrees Celsius (.5 degrees Fahrenheit) more by the year 2100 if the USA leaves the deal and continues on a "business as usual" greenhouse gas emissions trajectory - but that the warming of the planet could be even worse if a US departure leads other countries to follow.

That fight has played out within Trump's administration.

Tusk warned Trump on Twitter against such a move as he prepared to host an EU-China summit Friday created to fill the void on climate if the United States withdraws from the landmark 2015 pact.

Scientists say Earth is likely to reach more unsafe levels of warming sooner if the USA retreats from its pledge because America contributes so much to rising temperatures.

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The pact was the first legally binding global deal to fight climate change. Virtually every nation voluntarily committed to steps aimed at curbing global emissions of "greenhouse" gases. On one side is the economic nationalist wing of his White House, advisers such as Steve Bannon who have called climate change a "manufactured crisis" and who once urged "good global warming skeptics" to leave all the lights in their house on in order to protest the Paris talks.

Trump's predecessor Barack Obama enacted the deal without U.S. Senate ratification.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Britain would continue to press the U.S.to reduce risky emissions even if Trump pulls out. "Continued U.S. participation in the agreement benefits U.S. businesses and the U.S. economy in many ways". The U.S. has agreed to reduce its emissions by 2025 to 26 percent to 28 percent of 2005 levels - about 1.6 billion tons.

Agreed to at the 21st Conference of Parties, or COP21, in 2015, the Paris Agreement had just one major aim - to keep average global warming due to climate change to within the risky 2 degree Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) threshold.

On Wednesday Tesla founder Elon Musk said he tried to persuade the president to stay in the accord, and said he would quit the White House business advisory council if Washington pulls out of the Paris agreement. The U.S., he said, is "well positioned to compete" with the agreement in place and staying in means "a seat at the negotiating table to ensure a level playing field".

Speaking in Berlin about the Paris climate change accord, he said that "China in recent years has stayed true to its commitment".

Well, he's right about one thing: Foreign leaders aren't laughing.

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