On Thursday, President Donald Trump has announced that the United States would pull out of the Paris climate agreement, a move feared to weaken existing initiatives to combat global warming.
Trump’s speech portrayed the historic climate accord, which was signed at the conclusion of COP 21 in December 2015 by 195 countries, as a threat to American sovereignty as well as economy. In his Rose Garden speech, Trump called the international deal “draconian.”
Why Trump Think It’s Time To Back Out
“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” said the president, inciting support from Republican Party members but quickly earning the ire of world leaders and environmental advocates around the globe.
According to Trump, he seeks to negotiate a better deal for the United States. The White House, he said, had already called British, French, German, and Canadian leaders to explain his decision, with an official statement noting that America stays “committed to the trans-Atlantic alliance” and efforts for environmental protection.
Shortly after his remarks, however, leaders of Germany, France, and Italy released a joint statement expressing that the deal was “irreversible” and can no longer be renegotiated.
In what could be deemed his strongest push for “America first” so far, Trump referenced the agreement as something that could hinder the country from “conducting its own domestic affairs,” and a way to hamper his administration’s ability to shape its ecological laws to benefit Americans themselves.
“We are getting out,” he said, listing U.S. economic sectors that would lose jobs and revenue if the country stays with the landmark deal. The agreement, Trump asserted, would cost 2.7 million jobs by year 2025.
Trump said the deal would “hamstring” the economy and “empower some of the world’s worst polluters,” particularly China and India. He also hit the creation of the Green Climate Fund, where wealthier countries agreed to marshaling $100 billion each year by 2020 to assist developing nations in reducing emissions and coping with climate change impacts.
The president called the Paris agreement “very unfair at the highest level” to America, representing “a massive redistribution” of wealth to other nations.
Trump will stick to the withdrawal process mapped out in the deal. It could take almost four years to be completed, which means a final decision could rest in the hands of U.S. voters in the next presidential election.
Criticism Of US Exit From Paris Deal
While receiving applause from Republic lawmakers such as Kentucky senator Mitch McConnell, who cited the “Obama administration’s assault on domestic energy production and jobs,” Trump’s decision to pull away from the Paris deal drew sharp criticism from different sectors, both local and international.
Obama, for one, said that nations that will stay within the agreement will be the ones to “reap the benefits” in both new jobs and industries.
California Governor Jerry Brown branded it an “insane move” from Trump, saying the president got it wrong on the facts. California legislators, since Trump’s election in November, have since filed environmental protection bills to protect the state from the White House’s new climate policy.
Business leaders that include leaders of General Electric, Goldman Sachs, and Microsoft issued statements that expressed disappointment over the decision, reminding that climate change is a real occurrence and industry must lead, not rely on government.
Both Tesla founder Elon Musk and Disney CEO Bob Iger decided to resign from their posts in the Trump advisory council following Trump’s announcement.
The head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) himself previously made an open call for the U.S. to exit the Paris climate deal. EPA chief Scott Pruitt said the commitments loaded on the country have been disproportionate compared to other countries.
"Paris is something that we need to really look at closely. It's something we need to exit in my opinion,” he said back in April.