Trump's 'Historic Blunder' on Climate Change Threatens Economy and the Environment

In response to President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., and Washington State Governor Jay R. Inslee today announced the formation of the United States Climate Alliance, a coalition that will convene USA states committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and taking aggressive action on climate change.

During Trump's speech in the Rose Garden at the White House, he labeled the Paris Climate Accord as "the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States", and announced the US would withdraw from the pact because of "the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country".

Brussels and Beijing are reaffirming their commitment to the agreement and laying out steps for achieving some of its goals.

Germany's powerful auto industry said Europe would need to reassess its environmental standards to remain competitive after the "regrettable" USA decision.

The study makes worst-case assumptions that may inflate the cost of meeting USA targets under the Paris accord while largely ignoring the economic benefits to US businesses from building and operating renewable energy projects.

Jeff Immelt, chief executive officer of US conglomerate General Electric, tweeted: "Climate change is real".

"It's better Trump is outside the agreement rather than pulling it down from the inside", added Mohamed Adow of Christian Aid, which lobbies for poor country interests at the two-decade-old United Nations climate negotiations.

Anticipating a possible US pullout, officials from China and the European Union - two of the world's major polluters - had prepared a declaration reaffirming their commitment to the 2015 Paris Agreement, which is widely considered a landmark deal for bringing together nearly all countries under a common goal.

While Trump said the United States would be willing to rejoin the accord if it could obtain more favorable terms, the three European leaders said the agreement cannot be renegotiated, "since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economics". The U.S. was supposed to provide an additional $2 billion, but Trump has balked at that idea, and his proposed budget includes cuts to global climate programs.

Trump spoke from the White House Rose Garden on a warm, sunny day. Twenty-five companies, including technology giants Apple, Facebook and Google, took out an advertisement in major newspapers on 1 June arguing that exiting the Paris accord would harm United States economic competitiveness.

During Disney's annual shareholder meeting earlier this year, an audience member took the mic and blasted Iger for being a member of Trump's business advisory council.

The decision sparked reaction from around the world and locally.

"Because this is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do, and those that will be betting on the implementation of the Paris Agreement, on the green economy, will be the ones that have a leading role in the economy of the 21st century", he said.

"The regrettable announcement by the U.S. makes it inevitable that Europe must facilitate a cost efficient and economically feasible climate policy to remain internationally competitive", Matthias Wissmann, president of the German auto industry lobby group VDA, said in a statement on Friday.

Congressional Republicans applauded the decision, with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky saying Trump had "put families and jobs ahead of left-wing ideology and should be commended".

Scientists say Earth is likely to reach more risky levels of warming sooner as a result of the president's decision because America contributes so much to rising temperatures.

McKenna said Canada will co-host with China and the European Union a ministerial summit here in September to advance action on the Paris agreement.

Under its climate action plan, the United States had pledged merely 26-28 percent emission reduction below 2005 levels by 2025. However, they also refuse to look at the alternative - an America where no leaders are fighting back against global warming and that offers no hope to cities and countries internationally who still look to the U.S. for guidance. The White House said the US will stop contributing to the United Nations Green Climate Fund and will stop reporting carbon data as required by the Paris accord, although domestic regulations require that reporting anyway.

After President Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris accord, dozens of governors and mayors across the country are pledging to uphold the green fight within their own borders. A White House official said the couple instead attended service at synagogue for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot.

  • Leroy Wright