Published: Fri, June 02, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Trump announces USA withdrawal from Paris climate deal

Shortly after Trump's announcement, the governors of the states of California, New York, and Washington - representing over one-fifth of U.S. Gross Domestic Product - announced formation of the United States Climate Alliance, a coalition that will convene U.S. states committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and taking aggressive action on climate change.

The leaders of Germany, France and Italy, in a highly unusual move, issued a joint statement expressing "regret" at the decision.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who sought the Democratic presidential nomination a year ago, said: "At this moment, when climate change is already causing devastating harm around the world, we do not have the moral right to turn our backs on efforts to preserve this planet for future generations".

"I do not agree with all of the president's policies and decisions, including today's announcement to exit the USA from the Paris Agreement which I believe is a critical step forward in addressing climate change".

Apple CEO Tim Cook expressed disappointment and said in an email to employees that he had spoken with Trump on Tuesday to try to persuade him to stay in the Paris accord.

Moreover, after the US' exit from the deal, other countries could soon follow suit, or at least scale back their efforts to combat climate change, as this report in Vox details.

China has been investing billions in clean energy infrastructure, as it battles to clear up the choking pollution enveloping its biggest cities. But until we do that, America remains out of the agreement.

"The United State under Trump will continue to be the cleanest and the most environment-friendly country on the planet".

The Paris agreement commits the U.S. and 187 other countries to keeping rising global temperatures below 2C above pre-industrial levels. He fulfilled his promise Thursday, stating clearly, "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".

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"Through free market innovation, the USA is already making great strides in reducing emissions, while providing affordable energy to our citizens".

In an interview on Thursday, the president of the World Coal Association, Benjamin Sporton, told Reuters that he had mixed feelings about Trump's announcement, adding he was eager to see a USA policy that actively promotes a place for coal in the global energy mix. It was the latest in a series of possibly questionable interactions between Trump associates and Russian officials during the presidential campaign and transition.

Meanwhile, General Motors, the No. 1 US automaker, said it would continue its commitment to "creating a better environment".

New Zealand's Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett said that "so much of what (Trump) said is wrong", arguing that America was not paying a disproportionate cost to be part of the deal.

With Trump's action, the United States will walk away from almost every other nation in the world on one of the pressing global issues of the 21st century. He added, "In addition to being disappointed, I'm also angry".

Italian Prime Minister Paolo GentiloniIn a tweeter request, Paolo Gentiloni said his country should not retreat from its actions on climate.

Supporters of the accord, including some leading USA business figures, called Trump's move a blow to worldwide efforts to tackle dangers for the planet posed by global warming.

He later noted that China, the world's fastest-growing polluter but also the most aggressive in developing clean energy, was focused on creating America-sized amounts of it: "Under Paris deal, China committed to produce as much clean electricity by 2030 as the USA does from all sources today", Musk tweeted.

Technology leaders have voiced their dismay and disapproval of Donald Trump's decision to withdraw the USA from the Paris agreement.

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