President Trump announced that the United States would withdraw support for the Paris global climate pact in a statement from the Rose Garden on Thursday, calling it a bad deal for Americans, while promising he will try to negotiate a better deal.
“The United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord, but begin negotiations to re-enter… on terms that are fair to the United States,” Trump says. “We’re getting out.”
Trump said the deal creates “lost jobs” and “shuttered factories” while “vastly diminishing” economic production.
The sure-to-be polarizing decision fulfills a campaign promise for Trump. It will no doubt make relationships tense with international allies, who spent years working on the agreement. Trump has been repeatedly pushed to remain in the deal by European leaders and the Vatican. The deal aims to fight global warming and pollution by reducing carbon emissions in nearly 200 nations.
“The Paris climate accord is simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the Unites States to the exclusive benefit of other countries,” Trump said. “Leaving America workers, who I love, and tax payers to absorb the cost.”
Many Conservative leaders and pundits have bashed the agreement as a waste of time and resources with little payoff, while many on the other side of the aisle consider it vital. CNN’s Fareed Zakaria said this will be remembered as the day that the United States “resigned as the leader of the free world.”
On Wednesday, Trump teased the announcement on Twitter but a handful of leaks spoiled the surprise: the Associated Press obtained “talking points” on the announcement before he took the podium.
Participating countries agree to report on progress in lowering emissions, but they are permitted under the treaty to change their goals and there is no punishment for missing targets. The U.S. had agreed to reduce the country’s pollution emissions to 26 percent to 28 percent of 2005 levels by 2025 — about 1.6 billion tons.
Under the terms of the deal, the U.S. cannot officially formally withdraw until November 2019. Trump’s decision to pull out could be seen as a shot at former President Obama, who was instrumental to forming the deal when he signed on in August 2016.
Trump said the United States will stop honoring the non-binding part of the deal immediately.
“The United States, under the Trump administration, will continue to be the cleanest and most environmentally friendly country on earth,” Trump said. “We’ll be the cleanest.”
POTUS continued: “We don’t want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore, and they won’t be.”
Obama issued a statement during Trump’s announcement:
JUST IN: Statement from President Barack Obama on the Paris Climate Accord: pic.twitter.com/hVDrsPFrTH
— NBC News (@NBCNews) June 1, 2017