President Donald Trump announces his decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Accords in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., June 1. (Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the landmark Paris climate accord, June 1, which he said was not tough on India and China, and alleged that the deal was negotiated “poorly” by the Obama administration and signed out of “desperation.” Expressing deep concern over his successor’s decision to pull out, former President Barack Obama has said, June 2, that by doing so, the Trump Administration has joined a small handful of nations that reject the future, writes Lalit K. Jha.
“In order to fulfil my solemn duty to protect our citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord… We are getting out and we will start to renegotiate,” Trump said at the Rose Garden of the White House.
Trump said he wants a fair deal for the American businesses to stay in the Paris agreement on climate change.
Trump said the Paris agreement on climate change agreed upon by more than 190 countries was “negotiated poorly by Obama admin and signed out of desperation.”
He said the deal gives advantages to countries like India and China.
“India makes its participation on receiving billions and billions of dollars from developed countries. Paris accord is very unfair at the highest level to the United States. The current India will be allowed to double its coal production and so does China,” Trump alleged.
“This agreement is more about climate and more about others getting advantages. This put the United States of America to a very, very, big economic disadvantage,” he said, adding that as a result of the deal, the U.S. would not be able to compete with other countries in the world.
Trump made this announcement in front of a battery of reporters when the temperature this afternoon was reported to be around 80°F.
By withdrawing the U.S. from the climate deal, he fulfilled his major campaign promise and overturned the major foreign policy accomplishment of his predecessor Barack Obama.
In addition to the U.S., only two other countries, Syria and Nicaragua, are not part of the Paris agreement.
California Governor Jerry Brown called Trump’s decision possibly “tragic” and a step “backwards” for the U.S.
Democratic lawmakers have said this is retreat of American leadership and gives opportunities to countries like India, China and Germany.
“A sad and weak decision,” tweeted Rich Verma, former U.S. Ambassador to India.
The U.S., however, will not immediately pull out of the Paris Act. He would follow the four-year rule to get out of it. This means that the U.S. will leave the Paris Agreement in 2020.
Former Obama aide David Axelrod said “in backing off of climate pact,” Trump “is locking arms with Syria and Nicaragua and matching confidently into the past.”
Earlier, Vice President Mike Pence said Trump is fighting every day to make America great again.
The President is choosing to put American jobs and businesses first, Pence said.
“The American people and the wider world will see once again our President is choosing to put American jobs and American workers first,” Pence said.
Trump Administration has Joined a Handful of Nations that Reject the Future: Obama
“The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created. I believe the United States of America should be at the front of the pack,” Obama said in a statement.
“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, he said.
“A year and a half ago, the world came together in Paris around the first-ever global agreement to set the world on a low-carbon course and protect the world we leave to our children,” said the former president.
He said it was steady, principled American leadership on the world stage that made that achievement possible. It was bold American ambition that encouraged dozens of other nations to set their sights higher as well.
“And what made that leadership and ambition possible was America’s private innovation and public investment in growing industries like wind and solar industries that created some of the fastest new streams of good-paying jobs in recent years, and contributed to the longest streak of job creation in our history,” Obama said.
“Simply put, the private sector already chose a low-carbon future. And for the nations that committed themselves to that future, the Paris Agreement opened the floodgates for businesses, scientists, and engineers to unleash high-tech, low-carbon investment and innovation on an unprecedented scale,” Obama said in his statement in which he did not directly name the U.S. president.
Jen Psaki, the former White House Communication Director said the announcement is devastating.
“For the eight years I worked at the White House and the State Department under President Obama, we had a simple rule: When we made a promise as a nation—one that nearly every other government in the world stood behind, one that was popular with both businesses and citizens, and one that safeguarded a prosperous future for our children—we kept it,” Psaki said.
“This administration is taking the opposite path. Any way you slice it, pulling out of Paris is the wrong move. It’s bad for jobs, as clean energy jobs are growing 12 times faster than the overall economy.
“It’s bad for our relationship with the rest of the world. It’s bad for our health and safety, our national security, our air, and our water,” she said and asked fellow Americans to oppose such a move.
“Thanks to Paris, united worldwide progress on climate change isn’t theoretical anymore. Nearly every other country in the world is formally on board, with plans to make serious cuts in carbon pollution in the coming decades.
“So are businesses like Apple. Even oil companies like Exxon understand the importance of the Paris agreement and that climate change must be addressed,” Psaki said.
“So here’s our chance to join them—to make this a short, ugly bump on an otherwise long road of global cooperation and progress. To let the world know that, even if this administration doesn’t yet recognize it, we as citizens won’t go silent on climate change,” Psaki said.