Tillerson insists Trump is not turning back on climate change

Led by former NY mayor Mike Bloomberg, almost 1,000 business and government leaders declared Monday their intent to honor the Paris climate accord, days after US President Donald Trump announced a US exit from the 190-plus nation pact.

Trump said on Thursday that he was formally withdrawing the U.S. from the deal, fulfilling a pledge from his controversy laden presidential campaign. The mix of businesses, including 20 Fortune 500 companies, and investors represent more than $1.4 trillion in revenue each year, the press release said.

Minnesota has had a climate change strategy since the administration of Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and Dayton said last week that the state will continue to pursue the plan, which has greenhouse gas reduction goals that exceed those in the Paris agreement.

Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor and a U.N. Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, is coordinating the effort. "We will address the issue and move on", he said.

Jon Goldin-Dubois, president of Western Resource Advocates, added that President Trump's action was "shortsighted".

Amid furious worldwide criticism of Mr Trump's decision last Thursday to quit the Paris climate agreement, White House spokesmen have refused to say whether the US President even believed the climate was changing. Bloomberg also plans to work with cities, states and businesses to set a collective emissions-cutting goal to submit to the United Nations as "America's Pledge" under the Paris accord.

On Thursday, Trump announced he'd be pulling the US out of the Paris pact - a decision that sparked intense condemnation from world leaders, business executives across the USA and lawmakers on virtually every level of government.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, meanwhile offered assurances in television interviews on CNN and NBC that Trump, who once called climate change a "hoax" perpetrated by the Chinese, does indeed believe in climate change.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, also on Sunday's "Meet The Press", was one of the members of the administration to push President Trump to exit the agreement, and firmly defended the president's decision Sunday morning, including repeating his assertion that other nations around the world applauded the USA previously signing on because "it put us at an economic disadvantage".

She said that the USA is conscious about the environment and it will continue to do its part in protecting climate change. "The rest of the world wanted to tell us how to do it. What he is doing is making sure that we have jobs for American citizens but also making sure that we have a clean environment".

  • Leroy Wright