The President of the United States of America, Donald Trump has announced that the US will pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement signed in 2015 under former President Barack Obama.
This move is the latest of a long list of controversial decisions that have defined the Trump administration.
The Paris agreement on climate is a consensus by various nations to reduce carbon emissions and reduce global warming. This agreement was reached under the auspices of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in December 2015.
In a statement delivered at the Rose Gardens at the White House on Thursday, June 1, 2017, President Trump described the Paris agreement as one which “disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefits of other countries.”
He announced the decision to leave in these words, “Thus, as of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris Accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country. This includes ending the implementation of the nationally determined contribution and, very importantly, the Green Climate Fund which is costing the United States a vast fortune.
The President further lamented the adverse economic effects of the Paris agreement on the working class of America.
President Trump said, “Compliance with the terms of the Paris Accord and the onerous energy restrictions it has placed on the United States could cost America as much as 2.7 million lost jobs by 2025 according to the National Economic Research Associates. This includes 440,000 fewer manufacturing jobs – not what we need — believe me, this is not what we need – including automobile jobs, and the further decimation of vital American industries on which countless communities rely.”
He also observed that the positive impact of the Paris agreement on the environment was only a “tiny, tiny amount” and hence was not worth the economic implications the deal carried.
“Even if the Paris Agreement were implemented in full, with total compliance from all nations, it is estimated it would only produce a two-tenths of one degree — think of that; this much — Celsius reduction in global temperature by the year 2100. Tiny, tiny amount. In fact, 14 days ofcarbon emissions from China alone would wipe out the gains from America.
Despite announcing a pull-out from the Paris agreement, President Trump was quick to add that he was open to negotiating a new deal that did not put US businesses at risk.
He noted, ” I’m willing to immediately work with Democratic leaders to either negotiate our way back into Paris, under the terms that are fair to the United States and its workers, or to negotiate a new deal that protects our country and its taxpayers.”
The move to withdraw has drawn a lot of criticisms from environmental activists and sections of the public who view this decision as an abdication of the US’s duty to preserve the environment.