U.S. withdrawal from Paris climate accord: Don't protect the environment is violating human rights


U.S. President Trump announced on Thursday that the United States would withdraw from the Paris climate accord, weakening efforts to combat global warming and embracing isolationist voices in his White House who argued that the agreement was a pernicious threat to the economy and American sovereignty.
In a speech from the Rose Garden, Mr. Trump said the landmark 2015 pact imposed wildly unfair environmental standards on American businesses and workers. He vowed to stand with the people of the United States against what he called a “draconian” international deal.
“I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris,” the president said, drawing support from members of his Republican Party but widespread condemnation from political leaders, business executives and environmentalists around the globe.
Mr. Trump’s decision to abandon the agreement for environmental action signed by 195 nations is a remarkable rebuke to heads of state, climate activists, corporate executives and members of the president’s own staff, who all failed to change his mind with an intense, last-minute lobbying blitz. The Paris agreement was intended to bind the world community into battling rising temperatures in concert, and the departure of the Earth’s second-largest polluter is a major blow.
Yes, the US is the world’s second-largest emitter of carbon, behind only China – which, along with India, was singled out by Trump as being favoured under the Paris deal. But both Beijing and New Delhi have reaffirmed their commitment to meeting their targets.
But within minutes of the president’s remarks, the leaders of France, Germany and Italy issued a joint statement saying that the Paris climate accord was “irreversible” and could not be renegotiated.
Trump’s decision set off alarms worldwide, drawing swift and sharp condemnation from foreign leaders as well as top environmentalists and corporate titans, who decried the U.S. exit from the Paris accord as an irresponsible abdication of American leadership in the face of irrefutable scientific evidence.
In recent days, Mr. Trump withstood withering criticism from European counterparts who accused him of shirking America’s role as a global leader and America’s responsibility as history’s largest emitter of planet-warming greenhouse gasses.
Supporters of the Paris agreements reacted with pent-up alarm, condemning the administration for shortsightedness about the planet and a reckless willingness to shatter longstanding diplomatic relationships.
Environmental campaigners said the American absence will make it considerable harder for the remaining 190 or so countries to reach their agreed goals, given that the US is responsible for about 15 percent of global emissions of carbon and promised $3 billion to help other nations.
The leaders of France, Germany and Italy issued a joint statement voicing “regret” about Trump’s move, promising to redouble their efforts to implement the Paris agreement and asserting that it cannot be renegotiated.
Mr. Obama, in a rare assertion of his political views as a former president, said, “The nations that remain in the Paris agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created.”
“Even in the absence of American leadership; even as this administration joins a small handful of nations that reject the future; I’m confident that our states, cities, and businesses will step up and do even more to lead the way, and help protect for future generations the one planet we’ve got,” Mr. Obama said.
Condemnations of Trump’s decision were immediate and strongly worded. Former vice president Al Gore, who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work raising awareness about global warming and personally tried to persuade Trump, said the president’s decision was “reckless and indefensible.”
“It undermines America’s standing in the world and threatens to damage humanity’s ability to solve the climate crisis in time,” Gore said in a statement.
Jeff Immelt, the chief executive of General Electric, tweeted: “Disappointed with today’s decision on the Paris Agreement. Climate change is real. Industry must now lead and not depend on government.”
Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein issued his first tweet Thursday, saying: “Today’s decision is a setback for the environment and for the U.S.’s leadership position in the world.”
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk and Disney chief executive Robert Iger both announced Thursday that they were leaving Trump’s business advisory council over his decision to withdraw from the Paris deal.
In Europe, a top German politician slammed Trump’s decision, mocking him for his brusque brush-aside of a Balkan leader last week at a NATO meeting in Brussels. “You can withdraw from a climate agreement but not from climate change, Mr. Trump,” Social Democratic leader Martin Schulz wrote on Twitter. “Reality isn’t just another statesman you shove away.”./.

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All comments [ 9 ]

Jane smartnic 2/6/17 21:56

On its website, I.B.M. reaffirmed its support for the Paris agreement and took issue with the president’s contention that it was a bad deal for American workers and the American economy.

yobro yobro 2/6/17 21:57

Trump has abandoned the standard of American leadership, turned his back on what the public and the market demand, and shamelessly disregarded the safety of our families just to let the fossil fuel industry eke out a few more dollars in profits.

Only Solidar 2/6/17 21:58

Withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement is bad for the environment, bad for the economy, and it puts our children's future at risk. Stopping climate change is something we can only do as a global community, and we have to act together before it's too late.

yobro yobro 4/6/17 11:43

Generations of Americans will suffer the destructive effects of Trump’s greedy, selfish, and immoral decision.

Jane smartnic 4/6/17 11:44

The nations that remain in the Paris agreement will be the nations that reap the benefits in jobs and industries created.

LawrenceSamuels 4/6/17 11:50

Trump, who has labeled climate change a “hoax,” made good on a campaign promise to “cancel” the Paris agreement and Obama-era regulations that he said were decimating industries and killing jobs.

Gentle Moon 4/6/17 13:13

The US reneging on its commitment to the Paris Agreement renders it a rogue state on the international stage.

Only Solidar 4/6/17 17:34

The White House's reckless decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement has devastating repercussions not only for the United States, but for our planet.

Pack Cassiopian 4/6/17 17:37

This is an incredibly shortsighted move backwards by the U.S. We're all on this planet together and we need to work together.

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