President Donald Trump on Thursday announced America’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord, signaling a policy shift with wide-ranging repercussions for the climate and Washington’s ties with the world.
In a highly anticipated statement from the White House Rose Garden, Trump said the United States would abandon the current deal — but was open to negotiating a new one.
“As of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country,” Trump said.
“We’re getting out but we’ll 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.”
Although details and the timeframe are still unclear, Trump argued that the agreement was a bad deal for Americans and that he was keeping a campaign promise to put American workers first.
“I cannot, in good conscience, support a deal that punishes the United States, which is what it does,” Trump said.
The White House has told allies the 2015 deal was signed by President Barack Obama out of “desperation.”
Trump faced last-minute pressure from business tycoons, foreign allies and from inside his own White House not to pull out of the 196-party accord.
Ever the showman, the 70-year-old gave his decision a reality-TV-style tease, refusing to indicate his preference either way until his announcement.
His decision could seriously hamper efforts to cut emissions and limit global temperature increases. The United States is the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, after China.
Opponents of withdrawal — said to include Trump’s own daughter Ivanka — have warned that America’s reputation and its leadership role on the world stage are also at stake, as is the environment.
Nicaragua and Syria are the only countries not party to the Paris accord, the former seeing it as not ambitious enough and the latter being racked by a brutal civil war.