“We’re getting out” says Trump. US ‘rejecting the future’ says Obama
The President of the US has followed through on his threat and joined Syria and Nicaragua in opposing the Paris Climate Change agreement, signed by 200 countries last year as a commitment to cutting carbon emissions.
The President said: “As someone who cares deeply about the environment, and I do, I cannot in good conscience support a deal that punishes the United States, which is what it does.”
He said: “The agreement is massive redistribution of United States wealth to other countries.”.
In a televised announcement, he asserted that “under the Trump administration [the US] will continue to be the cleanest and most environmentally friendly country on earth”, .
He added: “The bottom line is the Paris accord is very unfair, at the highest level, to the United States.”
The commitment to reducing US carbon emissions by 26-28 per cent by 2025 is believed by President Trump to be an inefficient use of money at a time when he wants economic priorities concentrated on domestic growth.
It was widely condemned by those who had worked towards the agreement, both in the US and across the world.
French president Emmanuel Macron is reported to have phoned Donald Trump to tell him that the Paris Accord is ’non-negotiable.’
New York governor Andrew Cuomo has set his State in opposition to the decision: “The White House’s reckless decision to withdraw from the Paris Accord has devastating repercussions not only for the United States, but for our planet…New York State is committed to meeting the standards set forth in the Paris Accord regardless of Washington’s irresponsible actions.”
The governors of Washington state and California have joined Mr Cuomo in announcing the formation of the United States Climate Alliance, which they say is ’a coalition that will convene US states committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and taking aggressive action on climate change’
Bill Peduto, mayor of Pittsburgh agreed, tweeting: ”I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy & future.”
The Paris agreement was endorsed by President Obama last year and the former President released a statement in which he said: “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.”
A decision to withdraw will naturally give rise to concern that the US will renege on its commitment to the Kigali Agreement which envisages a global phasedown of HFC refrigerants.
Senator John Kerry, who was sent by President Obama to endorse the Kigali agreement said: “This choice will rightly be remembered as one of the most shameful any president has made.”