President Trump announced on Thursday that he is officially withdrawing the U.S. from the historic 2015 Paris Accord dealing with global warming and described the move as fulfilling his solemn duty to protect America and its citizens.
Claiming the Paris Accord disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries, President Trump cited research from a conservative right-leaning American Council For Capital Formation that opposes the Paris Accord.
Some of the figures that President Trump quoted in his speech on Thursday included one estimate that claims the cost to the economy from the Paris Accord would be close to $3 trillion in lost GDP, 6.5 million industrial jobs, and American households would have $7,000 less income.
During his presidential campaign, President Trump ran on a “America First” platform that included pledges to lower environmental regulations and withdraw the U.S. from trade and environmental agreements such as the landmark Paris Accord that sets in motion non-binding action plans from the represented countries to help lower global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.
According to NASA, “the planet’s average surface temperature has risen about 2.0 degrees Fahrenheit (1.1 degrees Celsius) since the late 19th century, a change driven largely by increased carbon dioxide and other human-made emissions into the atmosphere.”
NASA mentions on their website that 97 percent or more of actively published climate scientists agree that climate warming trends over the past century are “extremely likely” due to human activities.
Former U.S. President Obama had previously established an ambitious greenhouse reduction target under the Paris Accord that included the United States reducing emissions 26 to 28 percent below its 2005 level by 2025.
The United States is currently the 2nd largest emitter of greenhouse gasses behind China and accounts for approximately 15 percent of global greenhouse gasses, although when calculating on a per capita basis, the U.S. ranks number 1.
President Trump described himself in his speech as “someone who cares deeply about the environment” but said he cannot support a deal that “punishes” the United States.
Claiming that China will be able to increase emissions for the next 13 years while India makes its participation contingent on receiving billions and billions and billions of dollars in foreign aid from developed countries, President Trump said the Paris Accord is “very unfair” to the United States.
Rather than seeing the Paris Accord as an important undertaking by 195 countries to work towards a common environmental goal of lowering greenhouse emissions and reversing the rise in global warming, President Trump characterized the relationship between the U.S. and other countries in a predatory and zero sum fashion.
President Trump concluded, “This agreement is less about the climate and more about other countries gaining a financial advantage over the United States.”
In another section of his speech, President Trump came across as a conspiracy theorist by portraying the United States as a victim of coordinated effort by foreign lobbyists to empower some of the world’s top polluting countries all the while seeking to gain an economic edge over the United States.
“The fact that the Paris deal hamstrings the United States, while empowering some of the world’s top polluting countries, should dispel any doubt as to the real reason why foreign lobbyists wish to keep our magnificent country tied up and bound down by this agreement: It’s to give their country an economic edge over the United States” President Trump said.
Later, President Trump said under the Paris Accord, billions of dollars that ought to be invested in America will be sent to the very countries that have taken our factories and our jobs away from us.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted on Thursday after Trump’s speech about the need to transition rapidly to renewable energy.
Sanders tweeted, “With or without the support of Trump and the fossil fuel industry we must transition rapidly away from fossil fuels to renewable energy.”
With or without the support of Trump and the fossil fuel industry we must transition rapidly away from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) June 1, 2017
Disney CEO Robert Iger tweeted that he’s resigning from the President’s Council, “As a matter of principle, I’ve resigned from the President’s Council over the #Paris Agreement withdrawal.”
As a matter of principle, I've resigned from the President's Council over the #ParisAgreement withdrawal.
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) June 1, 2017
Tesla and Space X CEO Elon Musk tweeted that he is also departing presidential councils.
Am departing presidential councils. Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 1, 2017
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted a message to all scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, responsible citizens who were disappointed by the decision of the U.S. and encouraged them to come to France to work together on concrete solutions for our climate, out environment.
Come here with us to work together on concrete solutions for our climate, our environment. pic.twitter.com/JXiqgMP8Xy
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) June 1, 2017
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