You don't speak for us on climate

In announcing plans to pull the USA out of the Paris climate accord, President Donald Trump declared that he was "elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris".

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"Americans will honor and fulfill the Paris agreement by leading from the bottom up", he said, flying to the French capital to meet President Emmanuel Macron in an expression of solidarity. The rest of the world will be sad to see an America that has been left behind, owing to Trump's decision.

In response to Trump's decision, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Disney CEO Bob Iger are both resigning from the president's advisory councils.

The first change is renaming the Trump administration's video from "The Paris Accord is a bad deal for America" to "Leaving the Paris Accord is a bad deal for America and the world".

After the president's speech, the White House arranged a briefing for reporters with two officials but insisted that neither be named in reports.

Aides could not say if Tillerson watched the president on television.

The agreement would make rich countries poorer through punishing regulations and higher taxes, while providing handouts and freebies to developing countries - often with little or no plan for the environment.

Nobody at the White House was able to say on Friday whether President Donald Trump believes in climate change. Trump's historic mistake represents an obstacle to that collective action; but it can hardly stop it.

Current policies in the United States, even without the power plant regulations proposed by the Obama Administration, are adequate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to about 16 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020.

An avalanche of criticism greeted Mr Trump's decision to withdraw from the 2015 accord that sets non-binding targets to curb emissions that drive global warming.

While traveling overseas last week, Trump was repeatedly pressed to stay in the deal by European leaders and Pope Francis.

This weekend, Tillerson visits Australia and New Zealand.

The leaders of France, Germany and Italy said in a joint statement that they regretted the United States' decision to withdraw from the accord, but affirmed "our strongest commitment" to implement its measures and encouraged "all our partners to speed up their action to combat climate change". Tillerson is sure to hear an earful about the issue in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.

While Trump argued the landmark 2015 accord hurts and business, others took a more global view.

Several major United States corporations, captains of industry and business groups urged Trump to honor the endangered agreement, with oil super majors ExxonMobil and Chevron among those reiterating their support for the accords.

"Withdrawing from the Paris agreement will result in the USA becoming isolated on the global stage", Marshall said.

Trudeau "also conveyed Canada's continued commitment to working internationally to address climate change", it said.

On Twitter, Peduto responded, "As the Mayor of Pittsburgh, I can assure you that we will follow the guidelines of the Paris Agreement for our people, our economy & future". "I think Paris was a very good deal for the United States, contrary to what they are claiming".

Trump said the agreement disadvantaged the U.S.

Still, Tillerson's support has been quieter than that of his predecessor: John Kerry. As Obama's top diplomat, he played a major role persuading other governments to commit to cut their own emissions, even when it created political problems for them at home.

"We have nothing to be apologetic about as a country", Pruitt said.

But Ronald Neumann, a former US ambassador who heads the American Academy of Diplomacy, noted Tillerson, like all secretaries of state, would occasionally lose policy battles.

Thursday wasn't a total loss for Tillerson. It began with Trump backtracking on a campaign pledge to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other members of the national security team strongly advised against relocating the embassy.

  • Larry Hoffman