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Donald Trump Paris Climate Agreement Announcement Confirms US Will Withdraw From Climate Change Pact

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01/06/2017 20:03 | Updated 02 June 2017

Donald Trump has confirmed the US will withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change in a speech in which he claimed he “cares deeply about the environment”.

A White House memo explaining the President’s decision said: “The Paris Accord is a BAD deal for Americans, and the President’s action today is keeping his campaign promise to put American workers first.

“The Accord was negotiated poorly by the Obama Administration and signed out of desperation.”

Abandoning the pact isolates America from a raft of international allies who spent years negotiating the 2015 agreement to fight global warming and pollution by reducing carbon emissions in nearly 200 nations.

A jazz band played in the White House Rose Garden in the run-up to the announcement.

”As of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris accord,” Trump said during the announcement.

Suggesting renegotiating re-entry was not a major priority, he said, “If we can, great. If we can’t, that’s fine.” 

While traveling abroad last week, Trump was repeatedly pressed to stay in the deal by European leaders and the Pope, reports the Associated Press.

The move leave the United States - the world’s second biggest producer of greenhouse gases after China - aligned only with Russia among the world’s industrialised economies not have ratified the agreement.

Under the agreement, the U.S. had agreed to reduce the country’s pollution emissions to 26 percent to 28 percent of 2005 levels by 2025 - about 1.6 billion tons. Countries are permitted under the treaty to change their goals and there is no punishment for missing targets.

Pulling out of the agreement outright would take three-and-a-half years under the standard cooling-off period for new international treaties.

But Trump said the agreement disadvantaged the US “to the exclusive benefit of other countries,” leaving American businesses and taxpayers to absorb the cost.

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

In a Berlin speech, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that fighting climate change is a “global consensus” and an “international responsibility.”

“China in recent years has stayed true to its commitment,” said Li, speaking in Berlin Wednesday.

American corporate leaders also appealed to the businessman-turned-president to stay in the pact.

They included Apple, Google and Walmart.

Even fossil fuel companies such as Exxon Mobil, BP and Shell say the United States should abide by the deal.

Withdrawing from the pact was one of Trump’s principal campaign pledges, but other signatories had expressed alarm about the likely consequences of the America abandoning the pact.

Top White House aides were divided and were deliberating on “caveats in the language,” one official said.

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