In a massive setback to international efforts to reduce carbon emissions, the world’s biggest economy and second largest polluter – USA – Thursday announced its decision to walk out of the Paris climate pact agreed upon by over 190 countries. US President Donald Trump blamed previous Obama administration for poorly negotiating the pact that he says favoured countries like India and China.
“In order to fulfil my solemn duty to protect our citizens, the United States will withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord… We are getting out and we will start to renegotiate,” Trump said at the Rose Garden of the White House.
Trump said he wants a fair deal for the American businesses to stay in the Paris agreement on climate change.
Trump said the Paris agreement on climate change agreed upon by more than 190 countries was “negotiated poorly by Obama admin and signed out of desperation”.
He said the deal gives advantages to countries like India and China.
“India makes its participation on receiving billions and billions of dollars from developed countries. Paris accord is very unfair at the highest level to the United States. The current India will be allowed to double its coal production and so does China,” Trump alleged.
“This agreement is more about climate and more about others getting advantages. This put the United States of America to a very very big economic disadvantage,” he said, adding that as a result of the deal, the US would not be able to compete with other countries in the world.
Trump made this announcement in front of a battery of reporters when the temperature this afternoon was reported to be around 26 degrees Celsius.
By withdrawing the US from the climate deal, he fulfilled his major campaign promise and overturned the major foreign policy accomplishment of his predecessor Barack Obama.
In addition to the US, only two other countries – Syria and Nicaragua – are not part of the Paris agreement.
California Governor Jerry Brown called Trump’s decision possibly “tragic” and a step “backwards” for the US.
Democratic lawmakers have said this is retreat of American leadership and gives opportunities to countries like India, China and Germany.
“A sad and weak decision,” tweeted Rich Verma, former US Ambassador to India.
The US, however, will not immediately pull out of the Paris Act. He would follow the four-year rule to get out of it. This means that the US will leave the Paris Agreement in 2020.
Former Obama aide David Axelrod said “in backing off of climate pact”, Trump “is locking arms with Syria and Nicaragua and matching confidently into the past”.
Earlier, Vice President Mike Pence said Trump is fighting every day to make America great again.
The President is choosing to put American jobs and businesses first, Pence said.
“The American people & the wider world will see once again our President is choosing to put American jobs and American workers first,” Pence said.