Trump announces decision to withdraw USA from climate accord

Gwen Vasquez
June 2, 2017

Trump said it "handicaps" the US economy "while imposing no meaningful obligations on the world's leading polluters".

"At what point does America get demeaned?" They may not be able to get the United States all the way to our 2025 Paris emissions target, but they have the potential to go far.

The White House did not confirm those reports and it was unclear whether Mr Trump would fully scrap U.S. participation or merely water down U.S. emissions objectives. What's more, the U.S. is pacing to hit peak carbon emissions in 2030, when experts say measures to mitigate damage to the ozone layer will be too little too late. "We don't want other countries and other leaders to laugh at us anymore".

Since Trump reportedly waffled up to the last moment on the Paris agreement decision, we chose to show you what nearly could have been.

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said Mr Trump had "put families and jobs ahead of left-wing ideology and should be commended".

Framing his decision as "a reassertion of America's sovereignty", he said, "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris".

Trump's decision sparked an instant wave of indignation both at home and overseas, with Obama saying the move meant the United States was "joining a handful of nations that reject the future".

"We're getting out", he said.

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, who met with Mr Trump on Tuesday, has overtly advocated quitting a deal he judges "bad" for the US. And if we can, that's great. "If we can't, that's fine".

"The Paris Agreement will continue with full force of implementation even if the USA pulls out". The UN body that facilitated the deal said it "cannot be renegotiated based on the request of a single party".

"I'm hearing from a lot of people, both ways", Trump said at the White House on May 31. A White House official said the couple instead attended service at synagogue for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot.

Under former President Barack Obama, the USA had agreed under the accord to reduce polluting emissions by more than a quarter below 2005 levels by 2025.

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The president said the agreement gives "countries an economic edge over the United States, " adding, "that's not going to happen while I'm president". "The Paris accord is very unfair at the highest level to the United States".

The President campaigned ardently against the climate agreement past year as a candidate, vowing to "cancel" the accord.

A person familiar with Trump's thinking said the President was convinced he needed to withdraw from the pact, and there was little chance of talking him out of it. The decision has no direct impact on major US regulations on power plants and vehicle rules now aimed at reducing carbon emissions, although those are now under review by Trump as well.

The White House said Trump spoke with the leaders of Germany, France, Canada and Britain Thursday to explain his decision and reassured them that the committed to the trans-Atlantic alliance and "robust efforts to protect the environment". But Trump's statement was clear and direct.

The announcement concluded a long and bitter dispute among West Wing aides to sway Trump's thinking. Several big coal companies, including Cloud Peak Energy, had publicly urged Trump to stay in the deal as a way to help protect the industry's mining interests overseas, though others asked Trump to exit the accord to help ease regulatory pressures on domestic miners.

Opponents of the Paris agreement also say imposing regulations to reduce carbon emissions is too costly.

Washington insiders said on May 31 that Trump is likely to pull out of the landmark 2015 Paris accord signed by 195 nations, further straining relations with many US allies and leaving the United States alongside Syria and Nicaragua as the only nations not participating.

After Trump's announcement, business leaders, politicians, and foreign heads-of-state began castigating the decision as a woeful abandonment of USA leadership.

The White House said the US will stop contributing to the United Nations Green Climate Fund and will stop reporting carbon data as required by the Paris accord, although domestic regulations require that reporting anyway.

After taking office, however, Trump faced pressure to stay in the deal from investors, worldwide powers and business leaders, including some in the coal industry. But the targets were voluntary, meaning the US and the almost 200 other nations in the agreement could alter their commitments.

But he added: "This Administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future".

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis responded in a television interview on Sunday, assuring that Mr Trump was "wide open on this issue as he takes in the pros and cons of that accord". Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Trump his was disappointed in his decision, according to a statement from his office. French President Emmanuel Macron informed Trump that the Paris accord could not be negotiated, the Élysée Palace said.

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