President Donald Trump announced Thursday he will withdraw the United States from the landmark Paris climate accord that was signed by nearly 200 nations in 2015 and heralded as a rare moment of international collaboration to avert imminent climate disaster. Trump spoke in the White House Rose Garden, surrounded by supporters.
President Donald Trump: “In order to fulfill my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate accord—thank you—but begin negotiations to re-enter either the Paris accord or an, really, entirely new transaction on terms that are fair to the United States, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers.”
Trump’s decision drew swift condemnation from climate activists and heads of state in every corner of the globe. A spokesperson for the United Nations secretary-general called it a “major disappointment.” France joined Germany and Italy in issuing a joint statement expressing “regret” and rejecting Trump’s claim he would renegotiate the Paris accord. India and China joined European leaders in pledging to uphold their end of the deal. Back in the United States, former Secretary of State John Kerry, who led the U.S. into the Paris deal, said President Trump could have simply reduced U.S. pledges to reduce carbon emissions, which are voluntary under the Paris Agreement.
John Kerry: “No country is required by this agreement to do anything except what that country decided to do for itself. So Donald Trump is not telling the truth to the American people when he says, 'We have this huge burden that's been imposed on us by other nations.’ No, we agreed to what we would do. We designed it. It’s voluntary. And the president of the Unites States could have simply changed that without walking away from the whole agreement.”
The former president of Ireland, Mary Robinson, said Trump’s decision had turned the United States into “a rogue state.” We’ll have more on President Trump’s move to withdraw from the Paris accord after headlines.