Home » News » News Roundup » New Roundup » World News » US quits climate pact

US quits climate pact

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump declared Thursday he was pulling the U.S. from the landmark Paris climate agreement, striking a major blow to worldwide efforts to combat global warming and distancing the country from its closest allies abroad. Framing his decision as “a reassertion of America’s sovereignty,” Trump said he was “elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”

He said the U.S. could try to re-enter the deal under more favorable terms or work to establish “an entirely new transaction.” But he indicated that was hardly a priority. “If we can, great. If we can’t, that’s fine,” he said.

With a Rose Garden flourish, President Donald Trump declares that the United States will exit the Paris Climate Accords. Reaction around the country was decidedly mixed: coal miners in Kentucky welcomed it, lobstermen in Main did not.

Scientists say Earth is likely to reach more dangerous levels of warming sooner as a result of the president’s decision because America’s pollution contributes so much to rising temperatures. Calculations suggest withdrawal could result in emissions of up to 3 billion tons of additional carbon dioxide a year — enough to melt ice sheets faster, raise seas higher and trigger more extreme weather.

By abandoning the world’s chief effort to slow the tide of planetary warming, Trump was fulfilling a top campaign pledge after weeks of building up suspense over his decision.

The White House indicated it would follow the lengthy exit process outlined in the deal. That means the U.S. would remain in the agreement, at least formally, for another three-and-a-half years, ensuring the issue remains alive in the next presidential election.

However, Trump declared, emphasizing every word: “As of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the nonbinding Paris accord.”

He is breaking from many of America’s staunchest allies, who have expressed alarm about the decision. Several of his top aides also opposed the action, including his daughter Ivanka Trump.

Under former President Barack Obama, the U.S. had agreed under the accord to reduce polluting emissions by more than a quarter below 2005 levels by 2025. But the national targets are voluntary, leaving room for the U.S. and the nearly 200 other countries in the agreement to alter their commitments.

The leaders of France, Germany and Italy joined to “note with regret” the Trump decision and express doubts about any change in the accord. “We deem the momentum generated in Paris in December 2015 irreversible, and we firmly believe that the Paris Agreement cannot be renegotiated, since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economies,” wrote French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni.

comments