When President Donald Trump announced his decision to withdraw the country from the Paris climate accord, the audience at the White House broke out in applause. He said in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday, "In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord but being negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accord or an entirely new transaction under terms that are fair to the United States." Trump said "We're getting out. And we will start to renegotiate and we'll see if there's a better deal. If we can, great. If we can't, that's fine." 
 

The official withdrawal process will last until November 2020, which is also when he will be running for re-election. He said on Thursday, "The United States will cease all implementation of the nonbinding Paris accord," Trump said, saying it would include ending the implementation of carbon reduction targets set under Obama and ending contributions to the United Nations' Green Climate Fund, which Trump said was "costing the United States a fortune."
 
"As someone who cares deeply about our environment, I cannot in good conscience support a deal which punishes the United States," he said. "The Paris accord is very unfair at the highest level to the United States."

Among those applauding Trump's decision was Michael Needham, the chief executive of the Heritage Foundation. He wrote in a statement:

"In 2015, former President Obama met with world leaders to discuss how to combat “climate change.” Without approval from Congress, Obama agreed to force the U.S. to abide by energy regulations that in reality stifle economic growth and destroy American jobs. Not only was this agreement costly, but as experts pointed out, there was no true environmental benefit. Today’s decision puts our economy first and marks another step forward in unraveling Obama’s destructive legacy."
 
In the White House talking points, the Paris agreement -- which was negotiated during the Obama administration -- not only kills jobs but also places undue burdens on taxpayers in the US. 
 
The talking points read, “The Paris Accord is a BAD deal for Americans, and the President's action today is keeping his campaign promise to put American workers first." Taking a swing at Trump’s predecessor, it said, "The accord was negotiated poorly by the Obama administration and signed out of desperation. It frontloads costs on the American people to the detriment of our economy."
 
Last year, Trump campaigned against the climate agreement. Breaking it down for Americans, Trump said in the Rose Garden, "The agreement doesn't eliminate coal jobs, it just transfers those jobs out of the United States and ships them to foreign countries." He added, "This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States."
 
Chinese and EU leaders will release a joint statement on Friday to say that the Paris accord is "an imperative more important than ever". A draft of the document says that China and the EU share the "highest political commitment" to implement the deal. It is being seen as a rebuke of the American president. Officials representing China and the EU have been working for more than a year to issue a joint statement on climate change. It discusses the supposed dangers posed by rising global temperatures "as a national security issue and multiplying factor of social and political fragility."

The draft says, "The EU and China consider the Paris agreement as an historic achievement further accelerating the irreversible global low greenhouse gas emission and climate resilient development." The draft document says, "The Paris Agreement is proof that with shared political will and mutual trust, multilateralism can succeed in building fair and effective solutions to the most critical global problems of our time. The EU and China underline their highest political commitment to the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement in all its aspects.”
 
Democrats and some business leaders have chimed in to denounce Trump’s announcement. Among them are Tesla chief executive Elon Musk and Apple CEO Tim Cook. Consonant with his "America First" pledge, Trump said at the White House, "I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris." He said, "It is time to put Youngstown, Ohio, Detroit, Michigan, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, along with many, many other locations within our great country before Paris, France,” Trump said. “It is time to make America great again.” The Democratic mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto, issued a riposte on Twitter, saying: "I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy and future."
 

From his Washington mansion, millionaire Barack Obama called on Americans to lead the way in reducing carbon emissions. In a statement, the former president said,  “I believe the Unites 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.”

The director of a London-based organization that monitors the global warming debate, Dr. Benny Peiser of the Global Warming Policy Forum said according to a release, “The Paris climate agreement was pushed through against the declared will of America’s elected representatives. US leaders and critics had warned international leaders repeatedly that the US Senate rejected Obama’s deal and that a Republican president would shred it to pieces. Now the Paris accord faces the same fate as the Kyoto Protocol which also ended in failure.”

The chairman of the organization, Nigel Lawson -- a member of Britain's House of Lords --  said that Trump's pull-out from the Paris accord will prompt the UK to leave also. He said, “US industry already enjoys a huge energy cost advantage over the UK and other EU countries, so the US move can only make things harder for us in Europe. The next government must take a long, hard, look at whether we can afford our own Climate Change Act any longer. It is clear that the costs imposed on British businesses and households are now entirely unsustainable.”

Journalist Marc Morano of ClimateDepot.org told SkyNews after Trump's announcement that he believes that Australia will soon join Eastern Europe in also leaving behind the Paris Agreement.



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Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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