Trump pulls US out of Paris climate deal
US President Donald Trump has announced the US will withdraw from the 2015 Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Standing at a formal podium in the White House Rose Garden, Mr Trump confirmed earlier leaks that he would remove the US from the deal. His cited reasons ranged from the unfairness of the deal’s structure for US interests, unnecessary job losses as a consequence of the accord and rising costs.
"In order to fulfil my solemn duty to protect America and its citizens, the US will withdraw from the Paris climate accord," he says.
The US will now either begin negotiations to re-enter the 195-nation climate change deal or a process of re-negotiation of the deal itself to be more “on terms that are fair to the US, its businesses, its workers, its people, its taxpayers."
The withdrawal represents a “reassertion of American sovereignty,” according to the president, who says he was “elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh, not Paris.”
"We don't want other leaders and other countries laughing at us anymore. And they won't be. As someone who cares deeply about the environment, I cannot in good conscience support [the deal]," he added.
Mr Trump's decision comes after months of internal clashes between factions of his advisers and delays in the decision. He had not reportedly told his entire team of senior aides he was considering leaving the agreement when news leaked out this week.
GE chief executive Jeff Immelt said on Twitter he is disappointed with the US president’s decision: “Disappointed with today’s decision on the Paris Agreement. Climate change is real. Industry must now lead and not depend on government.”
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker earlier this week warned Mr Trump about the consequences of following through on withdrawing from the Paris deal.
"I am a trans-Atlanticist, but if the American president said in the next hours or days that he wants to get out of the Paris climate deal, then it is the duty of Europe to say, 'No, that's not how it works.’ Eighty-three countries are in danger of disappearing from the surface of the Earth if we don't resolutely start the fight against climate change," he says.
Italy, France and Germany said on Thursday they regret the US decision and dismissed the suggestion that the global pact could be revised.
"We deem the momentum generated in Paris in December 2015 irreversible and we firmly believe that the Paris Agreement cannot be renegotiated since it is a vital instrument for our planet, societies and economies.
"We reaffirm our strongest commitment to swiftly implement the Paris Agreement, including its climate finance goals and we encourage all our partners to speed up their action to combat climate change."
The agreement went into force on November 4, 2016.