The U.S. is pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, President Trump announced Thursday in the White House Rose Garden.
“In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord,” Mr. Trump said.
Instead, he said that the U.S. will “begin negotiations to reenter either the Paris accord or really a entirely new transaction” on terms that he said are fair to U.S. businesses, workers and taxpayers.
“So we’re getting out, but we will start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair. And if we can, that’s great, and if we can’t, that’s fine,” he added.
Pulling out of the agreement — one of President Obama’s major achievements in office — could take up to three years to carry out. The decision was long-awaited, given that Mr. Trump promised on the campaign trail last year to withdraw from the pact. CBS News’ Major Garrett confirmed Wednesday that the president was expected to pull out.
The president claimed Thursday that the agreement “disadvantages” the U.S. and is “very unfair, at the highest level, to the United States.” He warned that the current agreement blocks the development of clean coal in America. Mr. Trump said that the deal represents a “massive redistribution of U.S. wealth to other countries.” He offered to sit down with Democratic leadership in Congress to help renegotiate a “better deal.”
The U.S. will now be one of only three countries out of 197 nations that isn’t signed onto the agreement, with the other two being Nicaragua and Syria.
The pact is aimed at combatting climate change around the world and adapting to its effects by requiring countries to present plans to reduce carbon emissions. Specifically, it requires countries to set their own targets for reducing emissions by 2020. The Obama administration, for example, had committed the U.S. to reducing carbon emissions by 26 to 28 percent by 2025. The agreement also established a $100 billion fund to help vulnerable countries deal with the effects of climate change.
In a statement Thursday, Obama touted the benefits of the Paris agreement and blasted Mr. Trump’s leadership.
“The nations that remain in the Paris Agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created,” Obama said. “I believe the United 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.”
“Today the world has officially crossed the threshold for the Paris Agreement to take effect,” he said from the Rose Garden. “Today the world meets the moment and if we follow through on the commitments this Paris Agreement embodies, history may well judge it as a turning point for our planet.”
During the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump pledged to withdraw from the agreement.
“This agreement gives foreign bureaucrats control over how much energy we use on our land, in our country,” he said at a North Dakota rally where he outlined his energy policy. “No way.”
The president has previously called climate change a “hoax,” tweeting in 2012, “”The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”